At one time, back when I was a kid, I went to a dentist that had a “treasure” chest in the office for kids. Kids were allowed to stick their hand in and pull out a surprise gift. I’m sure the idea was to minimize the fear and apprehension that some kids experience when visiting the dentist.
But, those surprises sucked.
They were obviously cheap, silly little novelty gifts that any gumball machine could have given out for a nickel (at least back then) and would probably be lost before sundown. They had no ability to sustain any sort of happiness. And because of this, I now think that dentist was a twisted sadistic son of a bitch (Remember Steve Martin in “Little Shop of Horrors”?).
But it has a bit of an analogy for me lately. I’m reaching into my emotional treasure chest and finding nothing but absolute shit. I have been trying to start every day on a positive note, grasping at some faux-optimism I can’t find. I wake up in a crappy mood, because I tossed and turned all night long from the stress of not making it in my life. But each morning, as I wake, I reach into my emotional treasure chest to try and eek out a smidgen of a good thought or a smile. I find it, but it’s like a fake tattoo I found at the dentists office. You stick it on your skin, making you feel like a low-scale modest bad ass, only to have a little soap and water wash it all of, reminding you that you are just a snot-nosed little brat.
Well, it reminds me of the way I impulsively seek out happiness. I remember times I would get drunk to minimize the hurt of some break-up with a girl (mostly Kat), or drink due to my inability to figure out my marriage, or the way I would have random sex (because I never felt I was worth loving), or the way I would eat to hide my emotional tirades (I would attempt to keep quiet by keeping my mouth working). This was indicative of the kinds of “surprises” that would come out of my emotional treasure chest.
And, I’m feeling it again. I can’t seem to find the requisite gratitude for my life, accept life on life’s terms, or find the resolve to keep fighting for my dreams. Everything seems to be crushing me and I’m finding the choices available in that emotional treasure chest are becoming sparse. The chest is becoming empty and I feel as if my fingers are grasping at complete emptiness as it rummages through the dust, trash and unknown objects that are far from sanitary.
This, is how I feel today. This is my emotional treasure chest beginning to be void of anything.