Stuck

You’re born on this rollercoaster.
You just never know when it’s going to take off.
Lap belt keeping legs bound firmly in place,
shoulders hard-pressed to the back of the seat,
you’re not even aware that you’re there.
Then one day,
you’re flying forward out of that starting gate,
a shooting star,
at only a moment’s notice.

Which way am I going?’
You can’t know until you hit the end of the straight away.
You never see the tracks ahead;
they’re being built as you go.
Who’s laying the framework, though…
Rarely can that be seen until you’re shooting by,
and even then,
it’s but a quick glance.

When you go up,
just prior to ascension,
you’ll feel yourself lift up just slightly.
You’ll climb higher and higher,
soaring through the clouds,
a euphoric haze distorting your thoughts,
your mind,
your perception of reality.
You come to the peak;
however, you can never know how long you remain.
You see the world.
You can do anything.
Nothing is impossible.
You are invincible.

The euphoria dissipates in descent.
There are times when it’s quick;
you’re left breathless.
Other times,
you can just enjoy the sights on the way down.
You don’t know.
Hell,
are you going back to that straight away?
Directly into a downward, abyssal spiral?
Or even a loop?

You.
Have.
No.
Idea.

When you go down,
your stomach will drop.
That’s it.
That’s your only warning.
How far down?’
You don’t know until you get there.

A slow, steady decline with a shallow dip?
Or a steep drop, plummeting into a ravine at the speed of light.
With watering eyes,
you open your mouth to scream for dear life.
No sound.
How long are you trapped?
How dark?
Is anyone waiting to push the car back up,
to pull you out of that goddamn void,
to fill your lungs with air again?
Or do you just…
wait it out?
Hope to god those demons set you free…,
before you set yourself free without the car ever resurfacing again?

The loops?
The ups,
lifting off.
The downs,
sinking and suffocating.
It all happens so fast.

At times,
it’s consecutive—
someone shooting you in the chest with a fully automatic rifle.
…Those moments are terrifying.
It’s moving too fast.
Your heart stops but the euphoria floods your mind simultaneously.
Are you soaring above the clouds,
enveloped in the warmth of the clear blue sky?
Are you sinking into the pits of hell,
swallowed by the darkness?

A flickering light—
that’s the only comparison,
the only likeness,
to explain what it is to be running an indefinite loop.

And when you finally find those long stretches of straight aways,
you can only ask yourself:
When will I look down on the clouds again?
A shake of the head.
When will I sink into that pit—face those demons—again?’
Tears welling in your eyes and fingers clenched around your “just in case,”
you wait.
You’ve learned by now.

There are times it feels like you’ll be forever stuck.
Please god, not another loop.
You carry your “just in case” there, too.
Those are just as bad,
if not more terrifying,
than the void alone.

The most horrific thing of all:
you never,
absolutely cannot predict,
When those comfortable straight aways will disappear.

You’ll only be left to wait;
you’ll only get those split second warnings.
And once again,
the cycle will repeat itself.

And there’s nothing to stop it from happening.
Over,
and over,
and over again.

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Author: Elendarin

Student pursuing a degree in psychology with a concentration in clinical psych. I enjoy writing, watching baseball, foreign languages, and being a massive nerd.

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