Picture This

Do me a favor.

Close your eyes.

Take a slow deep breath and start walking.

Start walking until you reach a warm October night.

The autumn breeze flows through your fleece-lined windbreaker and cuts into your grey and grass stained sneakers. It carries along the smell of wet, mildewing leaves and the smell of slightly singed barbecued pork. Your fingertips and toes are chilled from the cold. You clench your hands and pull them into the sleeves for warmth. The tingle in the tips is pleasant as blood flow warms them. Leaves flutter down the street, bringing along the crunching sound of gentle scrapes as they bounce on and around objects in their path. As you walk down the sidewalk, the streetlights loudly invade the corner of your eyes because I know you are peeking. The dark is too intimidating. A stranger or an unexpected brown gift left from a dog could pop up. The sidewalk ends. Continue walking into the field of rejected leaves and dried up patches of grass. The pungent smell of nature is overwhelming and a pleasant relief from the overbearing pork smell.

The streetlights no longer attempt to attack your eyes. So open them. The stars twinkle at you, illuminating the flat dirt and patches of grass. Small potholes hide in the dark. They are like the eyes of a judgemental person watching you. Your heart races a little, like it does the moment you write your name on an important test.  Little crickets leap from their hiding spots before resuming their symphonic song. The dried grass emits quiet groans from the weight your body pushing down on it.

Now sit. Congratulations. You reached my sad place.

It’s not a bad place.  It’s a little chilly and dark but I brought a jacket and the stars are always bright. I’m alone but I like the quiet. I have the sound of owls and rustling leaves to keep me company. I don’t really know where my sad place is located but somehow, my mind always knows the route to take and it knows it’s called “This”.

It’s probably an abandoned park. There’s one everywhere I’ve ever lived which is probably why my mind pulls me here. I’m in the open. I’m vulnerable but I feel safe. I can scream. I can cry. Why not? There’s no one here. It’s not at work, or at home. It’s away. Sometimes I like This.

This can be healthy, except when it’s not. Sometimes, it’s hard to stand back up and run back home. Sometimes I can’t move. When that happens, the stars dim, and the nightlife of the nocturnal animals are disturbed.

You pictured This.

We all have a “This”, what is yours?

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