Short Story: “Audio Diary 1: The Darkness Inside”


T.D.I. Audio Diary 1

It’s 2:47. I’m standing in my bedroom clutching the wall. The room is black, and my chest is pounding. I try to control my breathing, but my feet feel locked in place. The panic elevates. A thin stream of light peeking through the blinds gives me hope. My heart finally slows to a normal rate. The memories of who I am and where I am creep back. Nocturnal anxiety is becoming more and more a part of me. Everyone else in the world is sound asleep, dreaming of interstellar space odysseys and down home family gatherings. True sleep eludes me, and when I do dream the line between reality and dream is blurred and smeared with dissociation and uncertainty. Lately I only experience two emotions, anger and sadness. Being up at 3am while the world sleeps seems to amplify the loneliness. I get the idea that I’m somehow more alone and more consumed by my thoughts. If loneliness is the frame, then my thoughts are definitely the Mona Lisa. The dark thoughts seem to play with my mind, and almost distort my vision of life. You tell yourself to be positive, but at the end of the day that’s like painting a wall with water. You can dump buckets upon buckets of water on a black wall, but the water won’t hold, the water won’t cover the darkness. The water will always fall and the darkness will always shine through. During the day I find myself stuck in an 8-hour loop of fake smiles and meaningless lies. The lying makes me sick to my stomach, and that’s not even mentioning the abdominal pain that I experience every day of my existence. The pain is crippling. It makes lying in bed to attend the pity party so convenient. Everything I eat seems to make me sick. I get a breather of relief by downing antacids and ibuprofen by the handful. The people I talk too seem off. They seem artificial, almost robotic. They drone on breathlessly about their lives, but never listen. I often find myself repeating the answers to questions over and over again. They never listen. These robots seem to only wait until I’m finished talking, so they can say whatever it is they want to say next. It’s a game for losers. I know these robots speak ill of me behind my back. I can see what they really think of me behind their fake smiles, behind their narcissistic acts of concern, behind their once a month “just checking on you” calls and texts. The closest ones to me say that they’ve noticed the darkness and sad view on life for a while. They say that I’ve been sad my whole life, even when I was a child. I just grew up, nothing changed. The robots call it a lack of faith. The doctors call it a chemical imbalance. At night I find myself kneeling, praying, but don’t know why. Could it be out of habit? I will admit to shaky faith, and only seeming to notice the misfortune in life. But my biggest struggle is the purpose for prolonged pain and heartache. I’m not even sure of my purpose in life. Is it all leading up to something? The robots gloat about the blessing that their God has rained upon them, even in the face of deception, envy and sin; their God still rains down blessings. As down as I always feel my shaky faith doesn’t stem from the classic and convenient “my life sucks so there must be no God” notion. I tend to look outward at the hate, famine, and disease that the robots never talk about; but there I go looking at the bad side again right? The days and years seem to fall off the

calendar faster and faster. There’s something out there, something in life that I’m missing out on. I know it. The man I see in the mirror is starting to look different, less and less familiar, and more and more touched. The darkness brings thoughts of death and loneliness, death and loneliness. Two themes that are more familiar to me now than my childhood memories. You’re truly born alone, and you truly die alone, but the fight of life is to die not feeling alone. The isolation hurts, but the darkness cuts, and I bleed every time. My thoughts get carried away fast at 3am. I lie down to rest my body, and to rest my mind. True sleep eludes me. I close my eyes, but closing your eyes forces you to look at the darkness inside. (T.D.I.)


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