My parents respect my haven. They never knock. They usually wait for me to escape to the kitchen for food, water or the back door for my daily run. I take solace in the fact that once my door closes, I’ll be undisturbed for the rest of the night.
However, tonight there is no racing out the back door. I already ran five miles this morning. Not my usual long run that I prefer but enough to keep the restlessness away.
Running is everything. My escape, my stress reliever, my quiet in the middle of the storm and my way of challenging myself to be a do better, be better. Being on the cross country team was inevitable. I placed first most every time, and when the scholarships started rolling in, it was no surprise.
My grades were stellar, my community service hours were numerous and my social life nonexistent.
My parents were proud.
I was the oldest, tamest, most boring seventeen-year-old person I knew, which wasn’t saying much. Graduating high school early was a foregone conclusion. Without a social life, I had all the time in the world to read, study, imagine and create.
My real passion is art, both sketching and drawing.
The peace and contentment I feel from the piece of chalk in my hand as I sketch out the images that dance behind my eyes, is bliss. I draw anything and everything. Nature, abstract or even mixes of shapes and emotions.
Sometimes my art is evil and torturous, other times, it is happy and joyous. I balance both to ensure I’m not a complete psychopath or that’s how I justify it in my brain. If I only drew dark, violent scenes, I’d request a psychological evaluation myself.
The blend of good and bad, realism and abstract is a forced act, reinforcing my need to be all things in my artwork. In the real world, I am a sum of my inadequate parts but in my artistic world, there are limitless. I can be it all or I can be nothing or dangle the precipitous in between. It’s all acceptable.
I sketch, draw, shade, and color in my room. My closet holds all the supplies, pads, boards and virtually everything I need to keep my art hidden from my parents.
It is only for me, my eyes. My art is mine alone.
My lips curl into a faint smile when I think of the secret I hold, knowing my art will never see the light of day fills me with deep satisfaction.
It’s the latest set of sketches that frustrates me.
I’ve had this recurring dream ever since I can remember. The dream is always the same but the frequency changes. Some years I had it several times over many months, then I’d go years without it.
Recently, it’s not just the dream that’s bothering me. It is the accompanying feelings. I don’t recall having a physical reaction in the prior years. Before it was witnessing a series of running images behind my sleeping eyelids.
Lately, it’s been a full immersion. As the series of images flicker past, my breath exhausts, my face flushes and I wake in an absolute panic, trying to catch my breath in the safety of my room. It’s as if the emotions transcend the dream state into my conscious living and it’s freaking me out.
The dream is increasing in frequency too. From every few months to every few days and it’s significantly affecting my sleep. I’ve been walking dead this week and I’m lucky Mom hasn’t noticed yet. If she does, I’m not sure what I will say.
That’s when I thought about sketching it. If I sketch it, maybe it will stop. If I pull it out in the shiny light of reality and translate my dream to images on my sketch pad, perhaps it will restore the peace of mind I feel I’m losing. That and I’d finally get uninterrupted sleep for once.
I grab the two supplies I need from the closet, the sketch pad, and charcoals before easing myself onto my carpeted floor. I draw my knees up, lean against the side of the bed and make a makeshift table out of my body before selecting the thinnest piece of charcoal. I start with the song. It plays in my mind vividly. I looked it up online since it haunts me every few nights and is burned into my memory.
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