Somewhere along the dusty path on which I walked I suddenly felt free. I did not belong to anyone or anything. I was neither therapist nor son nor sibling nor friend. I felt free of obligation and responsibility. I felt free of the anguish I carry about being a bad therapist, friend, son, and sibling.

I leaned up against a tree. First gently and then with a bit of force. I imagined we were playing a game; that we were pushing up against one another to see who was strongest. I watched the dogs run around. I enjoyed watching them play but was relieved that they did not belong to me. When people passed I never once thought about how they might have perceived me. I was indifferent to the idea of liking or being liked (but not indifferent to them as living things).

I continued to walk and soon there were no dogs or people: just the sound of the wind whistling through the trees. I realized that the only decisions I had to make were about direction and distance and that none of those decisions impacted another living soul. And with this every ounce of the immense weight I carried in my heart temporarily dissolved. I looked over at the sea cliff and for a second though of walking to it and letting myself drop into the ocean. It was not a morbid fantasy. It was not born of misery. I fantasized about exiting precisely because I felt at peace. As childish and illogical and selfish as it may sound, it was the only way I could think to preserve the feeling. I sat down on one of the fallen tree trunks on the cliff and cried.

Soon I would return to the life that I call mine but that doesn’t feel right to me anymore. The one in which I feel trapped by work and bills and debts and half-a-dozen daily appointments. I’m so tired. So tired that I cant’ finish this post properly. I don’t care.

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