There's this rash growing on my stomach. It itches to the point not even a scratch can soothe it. Being the worry rat I am, I told my friends that I really needed to see a doctor about it, but in an annoyed voice, they reminded me I've been to various doctors in the course of one week and that it was all in my head. Their lackadaisical responses only made my anxiety worsen.
Unfortunately, I've always been this way. From early on to now, I was considered a freak. My mother oftentimes would retort several scenarios of me as a toddler, removing the dirty diaper I was confined in, and screaming hysterically if my mother didn't bathe me. I didn't just grow into this condition. I was born with it.
Severe anxiety. At least, that's the medical term for it. I call it the life ender, the social ruiner, the sanity destroyer... all of which are true to my life. I couldn't even ride the bus to work without breaking down mentally. A cough, a sneeze, or a sniffle from anyone within the bus would cause goosebumps to arise all over my body, and a looming sensation of contamination to creep up my mind, causing me to cringe instantaneously. Countless times, the bus driver had to pull over abruptly because I spazzed out, screaming at the top of my lungs as I huddled in a corner, shaking with complete and utter terror.
Quite obviously, bus rides aren't my preferred route of transportation, but, living in a big city like New York, you have to make due with your circumstances, regardless of your own preference. In the real world, no capable adult can be jobless and provide for themselves, and I certainly had no intention of living with my mom, so I sucked it up... as best as I could.
That was my mistake.
Because I thought I could suppress the monster within me, because I felt I could conquer my own diseased psyche, I'm alone, quivering internally. No one sees me as a normal person. To them, to the people roaming the streets happily as I shiver at the mere thought of going out into the wasteland of a world I live in, I'm crazy, deranged, psychotic. They look down on me, shaking their heads in disapproval as they poke fun at me, mocking me.
That's why it happened. That's why I'm here. That's exactly why this rash won't stop itching.
Those lawless coughs, those inhumane sneezes... They sent me over the edge. Just as I did countless times in the past, I jumped off of the bus, oblivious to the car speeding in my direction. I didn't feel a thing when the car and I met. I was too consumed by my own mind, my own deafening mind, to hear the screams around me or the sound of my body plunging violently to the pavement.
I remember feeling anxious as crowds of people swarmed around me, hectically dialing 911 into their phones. As I laid there, staring up at the pelting sun above, a few people cried, releasing toxic tear drops upon my face as they hovered over me, performing CPR with their filthy hands and mouths. Though I knew they were only trying to help, I wanted it to end, just so I could part from the tainted environment.
I soon got my wish.
I flatlined before even the distant sound of sirens rang out. The amount of happiness that surged through my body as I noticed the fading of details around me, cannot be described. Though I knew I was gone, never to return to the hectic life I once knew, I was still attached to myself. I could feel the vibration of feet around me, briskly passing as screams continued to sound close by.
Once the reality of my end faded from the front-lines of thought, I recognized the sound of my bus driver as the clicking of cameras invaded my eardrums. The bus driver seemed to have been undergoing some sort of interrogation, as I'm assuming the driver of the car shouted hysterically.
Seemingly endlessly, I listened in on the conversations of the first responders and police officers until finally I felt the hot evidence sheet fall over my body. At this exact point in time, I noticed the rash. It was small at first, barely noticeable to any onlooking eyes, but I felt it forming, growing larger by the hour.
Because I was no longer able to reach down, relieving the itch with a mere scratch to the surface, I could only grow mad as the irritation increased. I thought this anxiety would end. I thought my paranoia would cease to exist once I passed. But here I am, laying on a cold slab retracted into a freezer, yearning to scratch that itch.
Written by GreyOwl