A Fork in the Road

The lonely footsteps echo my empty heart as I trudge wearily along the sidewalk. The path is wet, and the sudden light of a streetlamp makes the path look glassy and unreal. It's night, and I am alone. It's cold and I have no comfort in the fact I will soon be home. It's my life, but it feels empty and over already.

These feelings have enshrouded me like a coffin for the last three weeks. I feel proximity to the turmoil brewing below the surface, ready to scream and wave my hands in the air. I want everyone to know that I am not who I was. Not any more.

Depression hits like a wave of sadness, sapping your strength. I could feel the strength leaving my body this morning; how painful was the effort to simply move. I turned away from the small alarm clock, a rising panic that I had to get up swelling in my heart.

My imagination has always been my most treasured comfort in lonely times, through dark times. Most people would not understand the solace I have in my own little worlds, comprising of a thousand scenario's and situations. I am alone. I have chosen this life. This solitude is my thoughts. I push them all away suddenly. Damn the thoughts! Damn me! Damn this life.

I believe (only because believing in something will give me a little comfort) that life is one long test. It's a battle from here on to reach the destination. And the current destination looks bleak indeed. Trust me to talk about life like a journey on a train; but I feel it is. I feel grey, without colour. I feel drained, without life.

And here I am; at the crossroads of my life. I have several choices ahead of me to make. Think of it as a fork road, if you will. I am standing at the very beginning, where the two roads separate and head into cloudy darkness. I know not which road I should take. I know not what is the right road. But I must make a choice.

And the choice is simple; life or death. Its the cloudy darkness into either option that I am terrified of. Suicide has never been so real to me, never been such a consideration. Now, I am deciding my life upon little experience and I can't do this alone. I take solace. I read a book about eternity. And I know the choice I must make is life. Because any other choice is selfish. Whatever the road leads to, I must see the end of the drama; see the battle to its rightful conclusion.

Let me tell you about these two choices:

Death; The road into murky fog, where everything is unknown. It's a crossroads to a higher plane perhaps. Or it might be nothingness and my spirit will wither as my body rots in the ground. Decayed. Alone. In utter darkness.

Life; This opens more pathways for me, more options. As much as I hate it at the moment, I must choose that route. Because the other option is selfish. Purely selfish.

I take the route of life.

The choice, now made, is a burden I am happy to be relieved of. Such a terrible choice to make, with terrible repercussions if this is not the correct pathway. It's the right one, but my feelings suggest it is not the correct one; and now with several winding paths, each leading to similar densely foggy futures is filling me with dread.

Dread; Of the future. Of my life. I cannot believe I feel so young and spent. I should curl myself in a coffin and be done with it. Once and for all.

No, I must be stronger than that.

Strength; A strange concept. What is strength? In a physical sense, strength is brawn. Powerful, muscular, strong. In a mental sense, strength is the willpower and conviction. I need willpower to move on, to take one of these roads I am destined to embrace. Which one?

I choose the road of knowledge. I brace myself to learn all I can about life and love. I want to discover, I want to know, I want to learn. I will do this. I will become stronger in both body and mind, and I shall overcome this tragic song.

The door of the little cabin opens and Hannibal stands there watching me intently.

Then he opens his arms

"I have at last arrived home.

- Lieutenant "Tempelton" Peck, 1969