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opening my eyes in the morning is often like the elevator doors opening after a solo ride from the top floor of the sears tower down to the fifth floor

i’ve been comfortable for some time, enjoying a not-too-hot not-too-cold pleasant temperature and some instrumental music in dim lighting and solitude and then

the doors open and in comes a stranger, a thought, separating the space of the elevator in two and pushing me into my half

just before the doors close, or i hit snooze, another rushes in, forcing me further into a corner as it subdivides the space again

the awkwardness of that which is unwelcome intruding into my solace grows as the strangers converse as though they know each other and i’m not present

so i push further back into my corner, avoiding the pressures of the awake world

but at floor four the doors open again, thoughts entering like strangers, further subdividing the available space and pushing my solitude into extinction

interacting, engaging, talking of plans made, demands upon me and requests for sacrifice of my quiet

at the third floor, more load on and i lose hope of a peaceful day – men and women that seem happy to be in this crowded elevator – as my lungs begin to feel a sense of pressure

how can they be so comfortable in so little space when we can’t even hear the music and the temperature is now too warm from the tightness

skipping floor two our box arrives at street level and the door opens to throngs of people in the lobby

some strangers some friends some criminals some hated some loved some haters some human all talking demanding shouting whispering looking eyeing sneering pointing

as i am in the back corner of the box, i exit last, which is ok, and try to find a safe path through like a receiver searching for a line to the goal post

handshakes are hits and hugs are tackles but this is the currency of salutation for the masses

i play the game, wondering why i must speak their language while so few speak mine

until i return to the elevator at the end of the day, crowded in, i face the crowd defiantly, to make them as uneasy as i am just by being there

they filter off to the point that I can breathe again

to the point that i can feel the cool air again

to the point that i can hear the music again

and I reach my floor my home my family

where we speak the same dialect

and we afford one another space

and silence

& peace.

#mentalhealth #self #home #poetry #anxiety #Depression #family

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