Do you ever come into abrupt consciousness because of the mundane? You are walking. Walking. Legs moving automatically. Feel the weight of your thighs and the flexibility in your hips. Moving forward. A pace.
How can we remember to fidget and blink and lick our lips, but somehow it is so easy to forget how to breath? A thing I never notice until I feel a little sick to my stomach and realize I am taking in air at about 10% of my lungs maximum capacity.
And those little lies. The ones you don’t have to tell, that don’t spare anyone or change anything. The kind of 2$ on a large purchase that doesn’t make a difference but you still feel better lowering it a little or raising the stakes an inch. When you say “I love you” automatically because you mean it, but in that moment out of nowhere you’re not really feeling it. And you become aware of how many times you may have done that, said that. The way the things we once appreciated and were so new and sometimes hard are now second nature. Except breathing still.
Except the first thing we ever did other than scream. Right out of the womb before we knew we had eyes to open and a world to see, the air was the first step to feed the lies and I love you’s and to pump blood through our legs.
Air either in waves of too much or too little. We complain it is dirty, stagnant, hurting our noses or we revel for a moment in the freshness of spring in the country and maybe give a single thought to running. Or screaming. Or holding it all in. And then it becomes easy to forget again.
But we keep moving forwards and backwards without thinking or feeling at all, and it’s funny how pain is what brings us alive but happiness is what keeps us sure that there is nothing really going on at all.
Written by Forest Greenwell
This, and many other pieces of prose and poetry will be available this spring/summer for a small batch, self-published book. Pre-order will be available within the next week so keep your eyes out for it and give some love to local and small batch publications!