Guardian Angel

The day’s nightmares are haunting me as I try to fall asleep. Noises echo in my head. They bounce from cell to cell in my brain. The rush of the car as it passes me. The horn that’s blown across the intersection. The two coworkers arguing over whose fault it was that the report didn’t get filed. The TV show characters replay their crisis for me. The doctor telling me that these cells that control all this chaos aren’t behaving the way they should be.

The ever-present pessimist living inside me yells that I’m not good enough. She persistently badgers me and complains about how terrible things are always going to be. She’s aggressive and argumentative. She paces back and forth, demanding I just give up. “There’s no point in fighting it. It always gets worse!

The optimist, who I know is somewhere in there, huddles in a corner. She whispers that it might not all be bad. “Maybe this time things will be different.” she says in hushed tones. The pessimist frightens her, intimidates her. From time to time she can be strong, but I think this most recent series of events has finally cracked her. I don’t understand why she doesn’t fight harder.

I squeeze my eyes tighter trying to block out the sounds. I just want to fall asleep. The noise is so loud. My ears are ringing. My head aches. My heart is pounding. Just go away I scream to the ghosts lingering in my subconscious. Why don’t they just let me spend my night in peace? They torment me enough during the day that they should have the decency to let me sleep.

Please” I’m begging. “Please just let me sleep.” I feel my eyes warming and the first start of tears sliding down my pink cheeks. It’s too much for my soul to bear. It’s too much for me to take. “Please God do something.” I squeeze the pillow over my ears in an attempt to shut them out, but there’s no shutting out what’s already inside.

You’re a failure and you know it!” miss Pessimist says. “Not a complete failure.” Miss Optimist whispers weakly. “Of course she is! Look at her. She can’t even silence the voices in her own head!

I’m transported into my mind. My body drops on the dirty, dark gray cement ground. I curl into a ball as the bodies of the voices come closer. They are on top of me. They will consume me. I’ll have no choice but to give in. Their dark figures loom over my head. “Please God. Please. Please.” My plea fades softly until I’m just mouthing the words, my face now wet with tears.

Through the dark figures, a single soft light makes its way toward me. She’s found me once again. She is wordless. She is silent. In the midst of all the yelling, angry bodies, she is quiet and calm. There is a soft smile on her lips. Slowly the darkness is pushed back. A white, shimmering force is pushing them back. The noise is fading. The darkness is being pushed away by her light. Her fingers graze the soft shield she has made for me.

I watch the angry ones beat against the shield, but I hear nothing. Silence and warmth wrap themselves around me. She sits next to me and gently smooths my hair. As peace begins to fill my soul again, I hear her soft, gentle humming. It’s so faint I wouldn’t expect it to be coming from the being next to me. My guardian angel has saved me from my demons once more and I sleep.

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Black Bears

I see him in the distance. He’s giant and round. His hair should be shaggy and mangled, but it just looks silky as the breeze pushes it back and forth. I flatten myself against the hill and hope he doesn’t see me. He looks my way and I lower my head more. I wait a few seconds and chance a glance up. He is looking the other way. I slowly start to crawl toward the shelter. It’s a pathetic sort of shelter now that I think about it. It’s only advantage is that it is on a hill high enough to stay out of reach. Otherwise, the pavilion-like structure offers little protection. I crawl a few paces and look back to where he was standing on all fours. His eyes are locked on me. I freeze as panic starts to set in. I’m still quite a distance away from the shelter and he can move much faster than I. His snort is faint, but is enough to warn me. He turns his body in my direction and before I can see if he will take a step, I’m on my feet and running as fast as I can. It’s not fast enough though. I feel a force pushing against me. It takes every bit of strength I have to keep moving, to keep pushing against whatever this mysterious unseen force is. I can hear his colossal paws landing hard and fast against the hard packed dirt and grass. My heart is racing and, as I reach the ladder, the force is gone and I climb swiftly to safety.

I look down to see the black bear standing on his hind legs at the bottom of the ladder. He growl is low and short in repetition. He’s frustrated and I’m doubled over sweating. He goes back to all fours and turns first to the left and then to the right. I look to my right and toward the steep stairs carved into the cliffs. They lead to the parking lot, to my car, to true safety. I hear the black bear walking around the shelter. The hill it sits upon is oblong in shape. The sides of the hill are made of rock, just like the cliff’s sides.  The rocks aren’t exactly smooth, but they also aren’t jagged enough for him to get a grip to climb. Thankfully, he doesn’t know how to use a ladder.

My eyes follow the cliffs on either side of the steps. On the left there are two more black bears. Somehow, I know they are females. They are resting in the sun on an outcrop. It’s far enough away from the steps that I may be able to make it to my car. I scan the right side of the steps and my heart sinks. There are three cubs playing atop the cliffs. Never get between a mama bear and her cubs. The saying echos in my head and hope of reaching my car is diminishing. I walk around the edge of the shelter looking for Mr. Bear. I see him on the opposite side still trying to find a way up when another bear shows up beside him. Now I have four full-grown black bears to contend with who will also be hypersensitive to my movements considering the cubs they are caring for.

I hear talking and movement from the other side of the shelter. I turn to find people walking about the park. I’m about to warn them of the danger when the bears come around to the front and show themselves to these strangers. The bears sniff the humans and the humans show no fear of the bears. One young woman actually reaches out and runs her hand along Mr. Bear’s furry back as she walks past. My brow knits in confusion. Why are they not afraid? Why do they not see the danger? Why do the bears seem perfectly fine to let them go while feeling the need to eat me?

I look back at the steps and, although I didn’t think it possible, my shoulders drop further in discouragement. One of the female bears is now with the cubs and closer to my car. I have nowhere to go. I have no escape. Mr. Bear and his friend continue to stalk around the shelter and I’m trapped.

Words

I hate that words have failed me. I lost…I…I can’t even articulate. This is my life, my dream, my pain. There may have been times when inspiration had left me, but never a time when my words have just disappeared. I start to write what I feel, but then the words just stop. My mind has become silent. I’ve struggled before, but never like this. It’s taken me 7 minutes to write one short paragraph. A paragraph that would normally take a minute or less.

What do you do when the words just stop? What do you do when you can’t even express… When you can’t even express…I could take lessons from Porky I guess. Didn’t he just change the sentence entirely? If I were to write the words as they come to me, my sentences would make no sense. I get partials, bits and pieces, tidbits.

Maybe I can… Maybe…fuck. Do I just give it time? I hate words. I miss them. I feel betrayed by them. They’re like a friend who just stops calling or texting. Why aren’t they there? Why did they stop visiting me? Where did they go? Fuck it… Maybe one day they’ll come back.