We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
– T.S. Eliot
Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain. Because he’s not really there.
I’m tired. Tired of being the encourager; tired of all the level-headedness. Tired of listening to the blather and smiling gaily in its face. I’m just tired.
The skeletons in my closet are piled high and deep tonight. I can’t seem to shake the monsters, the ghosts, the shades of myself not quite up to specifications. I want desperately to embrace the world and kiss its tear-stained face, but I can’t even lift my arms to complete the gesture, let alone hold in the mouthful of spit I fight to swallow with every passing moment of every single day.
I am the sad clown. I paint my face with smiles to mask the inner frown; I shout with manic laughter to mute the howl of rage. I eat my words, for fear they’ll eat me first.
And you don’t know. You can’t see. I won’t let you.
You turn to me for answers, but I’m buried beneath the questions. Every day, up the hill; every morning, back at the bottom. Over and over and over. And over.
This is not a cry for help. This is not a fishing expedition. Keep your worms to yourselves. I only mean to take a moment, in the midst of drowning, to flail a bit, you see. And flail I must; otherwise, I cannot help but sink.
And now, now that you’re all scratching your heads and wondering which of my many rusty gears has slipped, full stop. Move to track. Lay down that hollow beat–drums, drums, drums in the deep.
Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain. He isn’t really there…