I glare out the window. The room is dark; the lights are off. My roommates are out and the quiet smothers me. I set my alarm clock for four in the morning. The desk light flicks on, allowing for a distraction from the skyline that I am disgusted to say pleases me. I don't want to appreciate beauty.
I have no reason to be angry. The world has given me a position of privilege that should be cherished. Cherished... the word causes me to cringe.
I have always been told to cherish things. "Timmy," my mother would preach, " cherish your vegetables because other little children have no food." My father would remind me to cherish the education of my prestigious private school. They wanted me to cherish the opportunities that they never had as children of poor Spanish families living in the inner city. Even my priest would impose on me the virtue of cherishing. "Timothy," he said sitting behind the screen whose anonymity provided him with the arrogance to give instructions on life, "you must cherish the life God gave you." How am I to know what life he intended for me?
The quote tacked on the wall just visible behind the flat screen of an HP monitor says to, "Go confidently in the directions of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." My best friend gave it to me. She doesn't understand that I have never imagined my life. This life of forced appreciation is foreign to her. She really does believe in it.
They don't understand it- not Christine or the psychologist or the priest or my parents. They don't understand why I'm not happy.
I get off of my rickety dorm chair to open the previously bolted window. They don't want you to get air. I'm staring again- staring at the lit skyscrapers and passing pedestrians. There are millions aside from me. Do they possess a sense of autonomy or are they suffocating in the smog of alien opinions?
The breeze is gentle enough not to feel like an intrusion. I gather it slowly, letting it swirl and swell in my chest. Breathe in. Breathe out. The only two life functions that have ever been fully under my control. In and out. I lift my eyes to the sky and imagine that the pinpricks of celestial gas are clearly visible. In- I close my eyes. Out- I lean out of the 10th story window. In- I step outside. Out- the only dream I've had is to die.