A bad firework show in the middle of nowhere

It’s only in these moments that I have something to say, but these moments say the same thing every time. I don’t have anything new to tell you, and I wish I did, but in these moments I fade so quickly I lose the words to describe how obliterating they are.

I’ve spent so many years pointing my finger at everyone and everything saying, “You are the reason for this.” But sometime last year, I had run out of directions to point. So I pointed back to myself, digging my nail deeply into the center of my chest. “Now deal with this.”

For a little while, that worked. For a bit, I started to rearrange myself. I got rid of some habits, and some people too, and I began to look and feel a little differently. But 43 minutes ago, I dug through all the new progress to find my old habits, and I binged on them. What I spent a good year recycling, I had taken half an hour to unearth.

I wish I could tell you in a new way what I have been trying to put into words, but it always sounds like this: some vague, mediocrely written expression about what it feels like. I can’t tell you what ‘it’ is. I only know it’s dull and rusting like cheap iron.

Have you ever closed your eyes during a song when every instrument crescendos ‒ all-consuming ‒ and you see this blackness that bursts in sparks? It’s like every part of your life flashing in short, pathetic instances, and you can’t see anything and you can’t hold onto anything, and it feels like a bad firework show? My entire life has been spent trying to describe what that feels like.

I’ve spent my entire life not knowing how.

Whiny, pitiful, self-indulgent ‒ yes, these are the words I know that describe this piece. I can only shrug in response. I’ve never claimed to be anything else. I’ve never claimed to be anything at all. Even now, I’ve lost what I wanted to say because I got caught up in what I don’t want to be seen as. While I was knee-deep in my old habits, there were a thousand ways to tell you what fading feels like, but now that I’m here and you’ve asked me, I only want to reassure you I know I’m not able to.

I think of the word “nowhere.” That’s what it feels like. I am nowhere. I cannot find myself in people, in friends, in passions, in talents, in hopes, in blank and in blank and in blank and in blank and in blank. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” you ask me, and I can only think, “Nowhere.”

I’ve written about small houses, about escapes, about losing and trying to ignore those losses, about hoping and hoping and hoping, so this isn’t new, you tell me. And you’re right, but this is nowhere. This isn’t supposed to be new. If it were new, it wouldn’t feel like nowhere.

I can only understand that in this nowhere, I am looking up, and it is that black sky with those black fireworks, and I open my mouth to say something, to point to one of the bursts of non-color and ask to be taken with it, but it is too quick and it cannot hear me.