story teller vol. 3: running man


lack of identity. feeling worthless and empty. having no sense of self.

I am a running man on a wheel of life, on the treadmill, on the chase of time. All these clichés that we say. Running away and running towards. But we all know where the end sets. The dismal doomsday of the last days. Prayers, regrets, and knowledge is shared. Tears, laughter, and moments of silence. I am a running man chasing away the day. From keyboard strikes to paper stamps. My notebook is filled with to-do lists and goals unfulfilled. A stack of travel magazines. Images of beaches, sunsets, and water clear. I take a breath as those are the things I fear to hold. They quickly slip between the spaces of my fingers and palms. What a life it could be, if only I dared to make a move but I’m only stuck here. Behind the desk, in front of a screen.

I am a mute man where anger hides at the bottom of my gut. Unable to express that is what I feel, what I need. I pack the meals on top of each other inside of me, like a refrigerator shelving all the decayed and deceased. I gulp the saliva and I cannot scream. I rather walk away than face the dread and the uncomfortable. A coward, one may say. The other will gush over my bravery and their defeat. ‘You are a better man for it,’ someone may say, but I’m still unspoken and not appeased. All are contained in a balloon that readily pops when squeezed. And I’m about to burst into tears because frustration takes many forms including the salt and the sweet.

I am a hollow man. Empty and stupid. Nothing makes sense and neither do I. I dwell that I am unworthy and small. The strength of a wounded child, unpredictable and meek. ‘Stay with me,’ I beg. The pathetic of me exists. She only turns around to smirk and leave, taking the whole of my existence in the four-inch heel. The empty canvas is easy to manipulate and erase. How little of me seems to be. Fill me with water, acid, or honey. I wouldn’t know the difference when I deplete. If I am nothing from the gecko, nothing remains when it becomes obsolete. A self isn’t a self when it doesn’t appear, exist, and live. It is only to be ready for the next weave and design for someone else’s needs.

© Jacob Greb — 2023

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