Fiction | Moose
The alarm rings early this morning, and though my body fights to maintain the warmth underneath this duvet, as it desperately clings onto the sleep that offered me some salvation from the monotonous routine of life, a second alarm, and then a third, bothers me enough to force myself out of my haven. Frustrated, I push myself up with my forearms and twist my body so that I was now sat on the edge of the bed, the cold now invading the layers of my skin, and sending a deep shiver up my spine. I yawn, opening my mouth as wide as is physically possible, with a high pitched throaty sound escaping my mouth as it closes. “Here we go again,” I say aloud, trying to will myself away from the comfort, but it was lacking effort and devoid of the necessary inspiration: even my inner self could not bear the thought of living another day in the same mess that had entrapped me.
Finally, with my mind slowly waking itself, after spending five minutes sitting on the edge of my bed gormlessly without much of a thought entering my mind, I stood up, stretching my arms over my head. Leaning back, I yawn once more. I walked forward a few steps so that my face was now visible on the small mirror that was hanging up on the wall. The person that I saw looking back at me, however, was a stranger, not the fun, young man that lived without worry in his youth, without the judgemental opinions of others in his head that have whittled him down to a shadow of the person he once was. This was a man who had fallen into the rut of a life that he did not enjoy. I moved closer to the mirror. As I observed this face, with the striking blue eyes contrasting the lifeless, pale skin, it became obvious that he was a tired man, not because of a sleepless night, but rather from a lack of sleep across many consecutive ones. The passionate blue of his eyes screamed for adventure, but the dark bags underneath them started to envelope this life, and threatened to steal the risk taker that was deep within him. In truth, it appeared as though he was at close to giving up his fight, and, right away, I was able to see how much the eyes defined his desire to live, despite the struggles that his routine had imposed upon him: the contrast of his eyes against the pale, lifeless and passive skin highlighted the internal battle between the desire to live with genuine naivety in an absurd life against the rules that had been imposed by a restrictive society defined by working fruitlessly with no meaningful end. I reached out my hand as though to console this man, before returning to sanity and realising that this was simply a mirror, and that I was looking deep within my own thoughts. This man was fighting for that breath of fresh air, and I owed it to him, to help him to not give up.
A gentle, considered sigh and on I went with my morning. I showered, got dressed, sorted out my bag before grabbing the lunch from the fridge that had been prepared the night before, and walked out of the front door quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the family, and, before I knew it, I was continuing the destructive routine that was slowly, but surely, tearing my sanity apart. The train was slightly late, as it always is. The door opened and there was a rush of people jumping on, hoping to get a seat. A slight part of me was apprehensive, but, in typical fashion, I got on the train. I was able to be myself for the next forty minutes of this journey, because it is that bittersweet time where I have freedom to my thoughts, before I am too tired to function as a result of a laborious day at work. I knew, though, that this journey defined my inability to escape from the habitual autopilot that anchored me to unhappiness. It was my cancer: slowly taking me over, and whittling me down to a shadow of the man that I once was.