The To-Do List.
A thick film wraps around my brain: it’s a slowing fog, a murky haze, a heavy tar which sticks to my brain cells. An invisible shrink wrap holds my brain in place, keeping it perfectly preserved for some day in the future when I may need it. What if I need it right now? Too bad. Time to live as a living dead. Time to wander through daily tasks aimlessly. Time to pretend that I am listening. Time to pretend that I am me and I am here.
The to-do list never ends because I never make it a point to do the list. Can I use my brain now? Nope, not yet. My hair grows long, my laundry needs to be washed, and my bills, I try to accept as my responsibility. I am a bored child with nothing to do but the list. But hey, I could always do it later.
Instead let’s dream, let’s play, let’s go to a place in my imagination where I live with no limitations and no to-do list. Let’s live in a world unlike this: a place of magic, monsters, Gods, Goddesses, warriors, monks, heroes, villains, and everything else in between; a place where there is no toxicity in our skies, a place without Hollywood, a place without iPhone, iPod, iPad! I had this dream and dreamt it over and over again as a middle school boy looking out the window instead of in his books, as a teenager worrying about the ground instead of his looks, and as a person, half-man half-unknown, wondering and wondering alone.
In my dream, I saw those who loved not for the sake of a political campaign, not because their religion promised them eternal life if they did. I saw love for another man despite skin color, I saw love for another man despite their sexual orientation, and I saw love for another man, not because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the only thing to do on this list of things to-do.
Then the film on my brain begins to lift: my mind can work once more, shackles lifted, and quick thoughts gifted unto me once more. What to do? I see my list and my brain begins to worry, my brain begins to stress. Pay my gas, wash my car, do my laundry, study for my test, wash my dog, check my facebook, post my twitter, watch my shows, pay my phone, work for money, lift some weights, buy some veggies, make a deposit, do a withdrawal, move some cash, do it all, push my chronic, take a bath, don’t slouch, clean the dog shit, vacuum my room, pay off my credit card, cook some food, buy more food, take out the trash, pay my taxes, trim the tree, roll out the trash cans on the street, take my girlfriend out to lunch, buy you a beer, wipe down the table, sweep the floor, brush my teeth, follow the laws, shave my beard, comb my hair, cut my hair, organize the freezer, dry my laundry, fold some clothes, paint the fence, remember to act civilized, rewire that light switch, change that lightbulb, help my mom, water the plants, hit up the homies, tie my shoes, make my bed, change my oil, listen to the presidents speech, believe some lies, vacuum my car, chew with my mouth closed, shampoo the rug, keep myself busy, keep myself blind, clean dishes, dirty dishes, put them away, gotta pay more taxes, don’t forget that online quiz, pay your loans, practice guitar, write some poetry, finish that novel, do this, do that, do try to remember, do try not to forget, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, DO!
I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! To live in the glory of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon is all I want! To greet a stranger as a brother is all I care for! Where did this come from? Why does my to-do list sound like a goddamn pop-up ad?!
The only place I truly belong is the world I’ve created beyond this one. How can I get there? That film. That murky haze. I need it, I crave it. It is the only way I could find peace. How did I get there in the first place? I drink. I smoke. I drink and I smoke to shroud the hideous stressors of this world, to cover the fake smiles, and to forget the promises of success my mother whispered to me as a child. I can never live up to them.
Forget this cursed to-do list and forget this physical world. I want to live free in my own mind, but the sad truth is that I’m free in a cage I’ve created myself. I’m free in my own cage in a zoo I’ve been born in. No one will see my world; not ever. No one will believe the tales I tell, nor the champions I’ve created. No. The haze, it covers my brain once more and slows me down. Maybe I should write about my world, then maybe people will see. Yeah, that sounds like a good thing to do. I should put it on my to-do list.
Because if I don’t, how else would it get done?