Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Hard Day's Night

I realized I was standing in the store I work at in the middle of the night. I'd obviously come to get something, but I couldn't remember what, nor could I remember how I'd gotten there. There were other customers around, considering the store is open 24/7, so no one was looking at me weird, but I felt weird. Intensely so.

Had I been asleep? It's scary realizing you've just woken up somewhere. I had to have gotten in my car and driven from home, and the biggest relief I had besides the fact that I'd obviously made it alive was that my daughter is with her other parent this weekend. I could have just left my daughter alone in the middle of the night. I could have caused a car accident, could have killed someone, could have died.

I puttered, reeling, around the store. Since I was there, maybe I'd buy something. Maybe I'd remember what I had come for. I was certainly in no condition to drive. I ran into a few people I've worked with and gave watery smiles, all the while trying to hold onto sanity.

At the checkout, I noticed the registers had all been changed during my day off. I hadn't heard anything about a remodel and didn't like it. It looked a lot more complicated than it needed to be. A couple managers showed up, offered me some snacks they'd had in the back for whatever employees wanted them, and I took one, all the while still trying to figure out what I was doing.

This is the kind of dream I regularly have. It's hard to separate from reality for the most part, and I'm left feeling off-kilter for the rest of the day. I'll be going to work soon and I'll see all these people and feel like I'm insane and if they just thought about it they'd know because they saw something bizarre and didn't recognize it.

My job has eaten my life. I dream about it, think about it, worry about it, and get one day off twice a week instead of an actual weekend. Some people like getting two breaks, but one day isn't enough for me to shake things off and relax because there's something fundamentally wrong with my brain. At least, that's the way it feels.

I haven't contemplated suicide this winter, which is good, but that's less because I like my life and more because I found a question to ask myself that scares me too much to want to find out: What if there's no heaven or hell and death just erases us from existence? The idea of disappearing entirely scares me more than eternal hellfire, and I'll take that.

I'll take it and my feelings of insanity to work, and I'll be quiet all day. I'll work, I'll jump every time someone walks up behind me, and every time I try to smile politely, people will give me a look that says I'm not fooling anyone.

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