Just a day from traveling down the busy interstate, the rented U-Haul is stuffed to the brim of my college life. Four years of Pretend Adulthood. My glimpse of freedom. A peak into a world where everything was mine. All packaged and organized into the bed of a truck that leads me home.
I see my bedroom again, and it is mine for the first time. Four years ago, I lived across the hall, but my brother claimed it his as soon as I made way to my freshman dorm. Now, years older, I set up camp in my new surroundings. The box and structure in which I’ll call home until it is time to fly the coop.
The Darkness that I cannot fight is sneaky. A college degree on its way keeps a faint hope alive. “I’ll figure it out. I’m not stuck. I’ll be okay.” The voice is small, not even sure it’s mine. Not even sure it’s telling the truth.
The Darkness is sly, menacing, but somehow inviting. I slip into its arms; it rarely lets me go. We coexist together. Its power much stronger than I am capable of handling alone.
My words and thoughts get twisted and wrung of any happy or hope. There is a period of where nothing is recognizable. It is all under the reign of Darkness.
And so one day while the Darkness is careless with its hold, I find myself seeking a distraction. Something pulls me back to the delightful pastime of reading. I find a bookshelf and fill it with the Words of Others that I own. The books stand tall ready to be read again. Ready to be joined by new friends. Ready to help me escape.
I read when the Darkness is away and when it returns, I hope again until it leaves the next time. It leaves more and more now with each page I turn. With each literary spine cracked.
We are match made, books and I. The stories and minds of the world’s greatest writers permeate my brain, my skin, my all. What was once hollow is filled with the urge to keep diving into their words. When I read, the pressure around my chest alleviates. I forget. I become someone else. I am brave and strong. I enter the worlds authors have given me access to. Their script being the key.
I still know my Darkness. Heavy, all encompassing when it’s near. But its place is nothing
compared to the capacity in which the written word takes in my heart.