In the late hours of the night, when the moon was still out and the landscape took on the hues of the darkest blue, I awoke. I was restless. I do not know what awoke me, but whatever it was I owe it a great deal of gratitude. I could vaguely recall through my memory bank a nightmare involving a chase, but it was fleeting. I was awake and the nightmare was not.
I climbed quietly out of bed, not wanting to disturb my bed mate. I quickly and without making a sound got dressed and hurried out, grabbing my car keys on the way out. I do not know what the urgency was, but my body wanted out of there. I felt my heart racing and my breathing simultaneously quicken. I just knew that I was not ok where I was and had to go. The destination, I did not have in mind, but as long as I kept going, I would be safe and I would not lose who I was.
I knew the end was coming. I had known for a long time. All the signs were there, but I never wanted to open my eyes to the reality that haunted me day in and day out. I realized quickly, my nightmare had engulfed my waking life.
That night, I drove and drove until the landscape changed with the morning light and I realized I was by the sea. I parked and got out and sat on the embankment of a hill overlooking the open water. How calm and collected it looked. How serene and wise it looked. The ocean had seen humanity develop into what it is today, and beneath the calm layer of gentle waves, I could almost see the sheer mockery it thought the human race. Understanding that, I knew I could let go of all my demons here. There was nothing the liquid that lay before me had not already seen from my species.
So, I did what I had been holding in the whole night. Right from my nightmare, to my bed, then the road and now here…I yelled and yelled and yelled. I do not know what I yelled or whether it was comprehensible at all. What I do know is that by the time I finished, my face was wet with tears, my voice hoarse and my heart lighter than it had been in years.
I then stood in utter bliss and contentment. I gazed out at the water, which was still unchanged and calm as when I had first set eyes on it before my lapse in mentality. It was unfazed even though it again bore witness to a little more of the human experience as a result of my venture this morning. It knew me better than I would ever have the privilege of understanding it.
In peace, I sat down and looked over to the horizon where the sea met the sky. It was calm, quiet with the hint of salt in the air. I closed my eyes and I could hear the waves hitting the rocks below me and the sound of sea gulls far off in the distance. Then, I did something I forgot I was capable of…I smiled.
A movement to my side caused me to open my eyes and I awoke in my bed, alone.
This time my heart was filled with happiness and contentment and ready to take on the world I had avoided for so long.