She wasn’t meant to feel like this, at least not at her age. The mid-life crisis wasn’t supposed to occur now, and the acceptance of her numbness wasn’t meant to settle in until much, much, later in life. Yet, here she was in her early twenties, and she barely felt human.
There had been a carnival in town; it was one of those vivid yet unclear memories, the ones that you remember going too fast, and you can barely slow them down to focus on the smaller aspects, the little nothings, when you’ve got nothing better to do with yourself because that’s what we do. There comes a time when we rely entirely upon memories to make the present fade away.
We stop living in the present because there’s nothing much to live for.
So, we make it a habit of delving into the reservoir of our minds and seeking out comfort from memories, which turn into fantasies of what never was, never will be, but what could’ve been.
The lights were the most prominent aspect of the memory; there were too many and in a plethora of colors. Someone was running. There was shrieking, and laughter, and a lot of giggling. That was when she still had friends when being surrounded by people, by conversation was the norm. It was a great day, which eventually turned into an even better night. She didn’t know exactly what it was about the memory that had her playing it over, and over again until it seemed silly to do it. What used to inspire joy, and nostalgia didn’t inspire…anything. So, the memory was replayed for the umpteenth time, until she gave up on it. It had started to become blurry anyways.
She tried to think of another memory, another time, but it was impossible. There was no emotion to be felt, not even regret which she had previously felt in enormous amounts.
Panic began to increase inside of her, multiplying with every breath like some form of mental bacteria that took over the mind. This was not normal. There was absolutely nothing ordinary about not feeling anything. But she wanted to feel, so she’d start with the basics. Fear, and pain, perhaps would do the trick.
She picked up a vase that invoked memories of the person who had gifted it to her mother. That person, now buried in the family graveyard, had caused her a lot of pain, had permanently crippled her with fear couldn’t invoke even a shred of dread inside her. She felt the weight of the vase and then brought it down hard on her own foot.
A strange noise escaped her mouth, a cross between a scream and a gasp, as she collapsed. She couldn’t bear to touch her bleeding foot, but she put out a hand on the bleeding anyway. She applied pressure to the wound, even if the pain went from unbearable to excruciating.
She opened her mouth to scream but only strangled gasps left her mouth. While the physical pain demanded her attention, there was no agony to be felt in her heart, no awakening of any emotion.
Her attempt had failed.