A Day

This one is a little longer if you could read it though and give me feedback that would be wonderful. But if you don’t want to then don’t, I could care less.

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I am awake, staring at the ceiling of my room, dark and unforgiving, my eyes adjust to the low light that comes from my right side, giving the dark room a greenish glow. Why am I up this early? The thought passes through my mind with a breeze of uneasiness of what is to come today, knowing fully what awaits me, and wishing it all away. Rolling over to my right reveals the only light blazing through my room, green and piercing as if the light is physically cutting into the darkness. 5:15 AM 15 minutes before my alarm will go off to remind me that responsibility is ahead and it will not wait. I do not know when I started this annoying habit of waking up before my alarm just to see that I have too much time to waist but not enough time to fully sleep. As always I close my eyes and hope my alarm never blares out, calling out the impatience of the world, I start to doze off once again, with the convenient lie I tell myself every morning that the morning will never come and I will sleep forever. The blaring jingle pulls me out of bliss, I stay still not wanting to move and let this annoying sound take control of me. The sound gets louder and louder until thinking is impossible, I reach over and flip the alarm switch to off and simultaneously pull my legs over the side of the bed. Knowing that if I lay back down I will most definitely fall back asleep. I sit for a minute contemplating the choices I made to reach this point in life,  joining the soccer team, my mom is a coach so that wasn’t a choice more of an expectation, working hard to achieve my goals, another expectation set on by my first choice, stay in shape to compete and constantly work out to get stronger, my commitment based on a false sense of choice, I tell myself that I worked to this point because I love what I do, when in reality I was driven by expectation and validation, the idea that I am good at what I do. Whatever the reason I am up, today is no different from any other day, I stand and walk over to my dresser. Not knowing where anything is, because of my messy job putting my laundry away last night at midnight. It had been laying on my bed for days before I had been there, after just arriving at my dad’s house from my mom’s, I had put off folding until late as possible. I start to open random drawers, first drawer a mix of running shorts, basketball shorts, and jeans. I grab a pair of running shorts and without closing the drawer I open the bottom drawer, more jeans, next, the top drawer, socks, and underwear. I grab a pair of socks and move to the next drawer, exercise shirts, I grab a long sleeve thick polyester exercise shirt, it is dark gray the fibers are tight, just the look of it seems warm. I take off my shirt and pull the running shorts over my boxers, no time to change underwear I have already wasted too much time. I pull the shirt over my torso it grips and fits to my frame, looking down I see my defined muscular structure, strong legs, big biceps, defined core with the outline of a six-pack, I feel a twinge of pride that I worked for this and I worked for what I look like, but just as fast as the pride comes it fades into the back of my mind as the stress of the day creeps up to me, and I try and push it into the dark corner of my brain to forget about it till later, but it stays, keeping me in an uneasy sense of a controlled panic. I finally accept the stress and let it engulf me. Instead of dealing with stress or finding a solution to feel better, I have always taken the stance to just accept it and live with the stress, to know it, all of it, everything it makes you do and feel, I live it and accept it so I can learn from it, learn what it makes me do so I can negate it. To seem normal even though I am so far from it.  I take a deep breath and tell myself out loud to “Calm down.” I walk to my bedroom door still in darkness, beside the door my hat, phone and earbuds sit as if waiting for me. Of course, I forgot to plug in my phone last night, I reach for the power but and press it, as if hoping that some different outcome would present itself to me, I am met with no such relief, a dark screen is all that peers back at me, “Fucking great, it’s dead.” I say out loud to no one in particular, the words come out not in malice or contempt, not even sadness, but instead they are a monotone, deep as if I was reporting the news and had just stated a hard fact. I grab my hat and pull it over my head, covering my ears with instant warmth, open the door and step out into the hallway on the second-floor landing. In front of me is another door, leading to a TV room, I hesitate for a split second wishing that I could just not care, not care about my future, not care about my accomplishments, but more importantly not care about the expectation people have set for me to fulfill, not care about their own ideas and their own selfish desires to use me to their own advantage, show off my accomplishments, so that they can feel good about being the one who told me and pushed me to do it. To gain happiness for themselves as they push me to compete, and to succeed, not caring if I gain anything in return. But I know that it is not their fault, it’s how every human is, being selfless is impossible, the very act of being selfless is selfish, a human will only look out for themselves in the end, including me I will do what they say to fulfill my own selfish need of feeling special and good at what I do. A human can only look out for themselves, true some can think of others in times of need, but only so that they may gain something later whether it be money or just the satisfaction of someone telling you that you are good. As this thought passes I turn left from my door to walk down the hallway to my left is the bathroom, straight ahead my fathers and step mothers room, sleeping so peacefully in a false sense of security. Sleeping as if nothing can hurt them, as if they are happy when I can see that they are not, my stepmother, a social worker, for all the times she says she loves her job, I know she hates it, I know she hates herself for not turning out better, I know that she is sad but will not show it, she thinks she is the rock of our family the one that always has to be happy for everyone else to be happy, she hates herself but lies to herself that she’s fine. My father next to her, this is his third wife, he has a bad taste in women, I know that but I can’t tell him, he must live his own life it is not my place to interfere. His type, he likes blonds, his own age, and darker brunettes, the women must seem cheerful on the outside but be broken on the inside, they must have some kind of trouble, that he feels he must solve, to show that he is a, to give himself some proof that he is not a failure. He feels that he must be the one to fix them, to make up for his own inadequacies and to feel good about himself. So that people can say how he helped that person, so he is good, he is a good person, the only problem is, he is broken himself, stemming from his minimal connection to his father he retreats and lies to himself that he is a good person the he grew up to be a success, which in his own little world is true, but he lies to himself about his own state of mind, he to thinks he has to be the rock of the family. In fact he is quite close to me in his state of mind, when in truth only one big thing is different between me and him, he lies to himself about who he is and how he’s doing where as I have accepted that I am broken. Another left brings me to the staircase, I walk down step by step, I pay attention to every squeak that seems to be magnified by ten fold in the still darkness. As I reach the bottom of the stairs I look from side to side, to my left a second living room that is hardly used, it contains a fireplace, a piano which is sometimes played by my stepbrother (description), a couch and nothing else besides pictures on  the wall. To my right is the dining room that opens up to the kitchen and the other living room that is more readily used. Straight behind me is a hallway that leads down to the back door, another bathroom and an office that has been turned into another room for my step-grandmother, who is starting to slip into dementia. Bliss, to not know, to live without worry because you have no conception of what to worry about, to just live every day, every moment, to the fullest because it is all new to you, life will never cease to amaze you, you will always be happy because you don’t know what you should be sad about. The only people that suffer are the ones who know you, the ones that feel bad for you because they feel bad, that you don’t know them. They feel bad, they can’t feel bad, they need to feel good, how can they feel good, by making you remember them when in truth you are just happier to live without knowing that you lost something important, ignorance is bliss as they say. The thought barely makes an impact as I have little need to care about such things, I will just smile and support my family so that I can be and feel normal. I walk straight to the front door in front of me, put on my running shoes that sit right beside it and stretch, I bend down to touch my toes in order to stretch my hamstrings, I press my foot to the wall with my toe as high as possible and keep my heel on the ground to loosen my calfs, and finally, I pull my quad back and grab my ankle behind me, to fully prepare myself for my morning run. One last deep breath, in through the nose out through the mouth to slow your heart rate. I open the door and instantly the cold hits me like a ton of bricks a wall of unrelenting cold. I step out into the cold morning and shut the door behind me firmly and look out onto my neighborhood ready to run. With no music running will be tedious and boring but I have to do it, so with no other option left in front of me I begin. I will follow my same route that I always use, left onto Main street, up the hill for four minutes, my breathing controlled and steady, in for three steps out for two, repeat. I reach the top of the hill and make a right onto a busier street, back down a hill not by much, 10 minutes pass. Breathing, In, in, in, out, out, I’m keeping it steady. At the bottom, another T junction I turn right, I am at 2 miles now I run for another five minutes. Next I take a right, a car passes a grumpy driver can be seen behind the wheel, I run for five more minutes till I reach my final right back up the hill. My breathing has increased, it is a fast paced beat, in for two out for one. My legs burn after I round the final turn and I face my last hill. Pain with every step, it starts at my ankles and shoots up through my legs, every push of my calf, burns as I push for more pressure, I am sprinting now, the final stretch. explosive legs drive me forward, pain becomes an afterthought as I focus on the road nothing else, I see the end, my cul de sac 200 more feet, everything I have pushed for, the anger that I keep trapped I let a little slip to add more fuel to the fire. Breathing in and out, my heart and lungs hurt I am at my UTI limit my heart rate can’t go higher I can only hold this for a couple of minutes before I will physically collapse, so I must press till I can’t anymore. A left, there it is, my house I take the last couple of bounds and slow to a walk as I reach my front door. My hands on my head, my mind finally blank, just filled with pain I take deep breaths, each breath takes me back to reality. As soon as I regain my breath I open the door to my house and walk in, my chest burning, my lungs on fire. I make my way to the kitchen grab a glass from a cupboard and quickly start drinking water like the world is ending. My run is done, I stand at the sink contemplating my run, it has only been two months since I started running for extra exercise in the morning, and already I have improved so much it used to be hard for me to complete that lap without stopping a couple of times. I try and remember why I started, the exercise wasn’t the main reason for the running it was more to keep a sense of normalcy in my life to have a routine that I could follow every day. To play the normal kid is all I need to accomplish if that ends up helping me with my sports and other endeavors and in life then I have killed two birds with one stone. I walk back up to my room to grab clothes that I can wear to school, jeans, T-shirt, jacket. Then I head out of my room to the left into the bathroom to take a shower. I strip and look at myself in the mirror, taking in all of myself, Short  black buzz cut hair, wide jaw with a little stubble from my lack of shaving in days, blue eyes, braces, slightly large ears, and the look of unimportance and the overwhelming sense of not carrying burned into my face. My body gives me no pride like before, it simply seemed to stare back at me with the same blank expression that I show everyone else. My body gives me a sense of uneasiness as though my body is not truly mine, but just a puppet that can fit any role that he is put into (elaborate). Accepting my appearance I turn on the shower and wait for the warm water to start to flow. It isn’t long before its warm and I step in to be engulfed in warmth, to be surrounded by happiness, that I have none of.

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