A rickety old stand sits in the center of my subconscious. Its planks are weathered by time and climate—years of droughts, years of storms and entire clusters of years played out like a single spring day complete with rain, sunshine, blooming flowers and bee stings. At the top of the stand a plank reads: FREE THERAPY. This is where I come to meet myself in every twilight, far away from the earthly judgment of myself and others, but mostly myself. What happens here is a truth so ethereal only the absolute bravest can live it with open eyes and a conscious mind. As for me, I’m a carnal coward, mostly; but this weathered stand in the center of my subconscious in the shelter of twilight helps. If only a little.
I come here to finish fights. I say the things I didn’t have the courage to say, or the quick wit to say it in time. I punch, too, and kick. The anger at my subject—whomever it may be for that day—so intense that I am not beneath an occasional bashing of their head on the pavement. It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud, but I can open my eyes in the morning and say “I forgive you.” The blood on my hands cleaned up by dawn’s light.
I come here to fly. To feel the freedom that was exchanged long ago for anxiety and responsibility. I run a few paces, push my weight upward, and when I’m no longer grounded, I feel as light as ever—like my body stays where bodies stay, and my soul is flying home.
I come here for the worst-case scenario. So I can stop being the little mouse in the maze of my mind and finally live it out and carry on.
I come to face the villains. I never run. I go straight to the monster and say, “You don’t have to kill me. I’m on your side.” It’s a lie and a form of manipulation on my part—an attempt to preserve my life in ways I couldn’t before.
I come to know God. Sometimes He’s there disguised as a love interest or a peaceful fog over the ocean. Its feeling is familiar and serves as a reminder that I do have an ultimate home.
I come to travel. To see places I’ve always wanted to see or create places I’ve always wanted to exist. Nostalgic wanderlust takes me to back to Germany, and the old haunted house we lived in, and Arizona mountaintops and sneaking sips of my grandmas coffee in the morning.
I come for the message. Your friend’s husband is cheating. Something is bothering your child. That building will be built on that street.
Science suggests that unborn fetuses dream in their mother’s womb. How is that possible, I wonder. How does a freshly developing mind muster images they’ve never before seen? Emotions they’ve yet to feel? Maybe it’s the time for planks and nails…the unborn prepping its little stand in the middle of his subconscious, getting ready for the thousands of twilights he will need to weather each waking day.