I drank several glasses of strong tea that were labeled ‘proceed with caution’ – I tapped my fingers and clicked my tongue. I fashioned myself an outfit made from dusty doilies and called it a day. My heart began to expand from the inside, with my chest tightening, I knew it would soon explode. I started snapping at children and felt eager to do it again, the numbness I had held for months was going by the wayside. High octane energy was what I needed – yes, yes, yes! It felt good to be angry for no reason and annoyed at the slightest thing – at least now when I would be awake (!) for hours on end I could say I did so purposely and with style (!) …And in the end, when the exploding of my heart would open up my chest cavity – I would be the one solely responsible – lest suffer a half-assed job done by someone else.
“Ya know,” I said to the air, knowing The Specialist was behind me, without having to turn around.
“Ya know, I could very easily burn The Woods down and build a mall while I have all this pent-up energy, just before my heart gives out…”
“I could just as easily let you and build one as I could whistle Dixie. It would just grow back though and eventually ivy would climb all over the architecture, consuming it whole, making a mockery of any and all man-made creation,” he admitted.
“So what now?”
“We could both light the match…” he began.
We made eye contact.
“…Or we could both run away, straight out of The Woods, promising not to look back at each other – ”
“Running out of here in opposite directions?” I prodded.
“Yes, I’ll take the left and you can take the right…”
“…And we’ll go about our lives in order to have some semblance of sanity in our daily routine – ”
“Because life is difficult enough – ”
” …And if we happen to run into each other on the outside, somewhere in the middle, perhaps we could share a chuckle or casually comment on the weather,” I smiled.
“It could be nice…”
“Yeah, I think it really could be.”
We both sighed, shook hands, took turns slapping each other across the face, smiled, and with our fingers crossed behind our backs, proceeded to run for our lives. It was a start.
Suddenly a wild yellow dog with a determined look in its eye, started nipping at our heels and ended up following me home. A swirling vortex of a black hole appeared out of nowhere, sucking calendars and farm animals into it. By way of no other alternative escape, I jumped in narrowly escaping its paws. I was then drawn into the past, ruining an otherwise poignant and dare I say, positive, ending to this story.
(ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE ENDING)
The dog managed to take me down and drew blood. I turned into a puppet only functioning with strong emotions.
(ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE ENDING, ENDING)
My brain grew toned arms that jutted out of my ears. My other miscellaneous and vital organs patched themselves up with duct tape and staples. I bit the dog and everyone else real and/or imagined from the past, present and/or future that ever felt they could take advantage of me. I took a deep breath and journeyed towards something people call ‘inner peace.’