Waiting For The MadI am waiting for the mad. I keep waiting for it. I feel like I am standing on the platform at the station. I can hear it coming, the rattling, the clanging, the tremors; I can see the lights, smell the exhaust, I feel the heat. But that infernal train is running late, off schedule perhaps, or, I fear, never coming at all.
Other trains race by without stopping, speeding to other destinations. I watch, look for familiar faces in the windows, but it is all a blur; I don’t recognize anyone and they are not facing me anyway, so it would be impossible to tell if there is even a spark of recognition in their eyes, if any of them have attempted a wave. There is no way to know, as I cannot make any of it out, and I am tired of trying.
I feel the strain of standing here alone, my legs ache, my back and neck sore from the reaching, not sure if I am leaning towards the past or the future, as I spend most of my time trying to escape the darkness, the blackness, the griminess of my surroundings. I hate this platform, this place where I wait, trying to leave, caught in between stops, where I was, where I am, where I want to go…just get me the hell out of here.
I am waiting for the mad. I want the mad to come. I have been anticipating it for quite some time. I am ready for it. Preparations have been made to accommodate it all, but so far it is a no-show.
I need for it to come. I need to feel its presence, in fact, I am quite eager to embrace it. I want to feel it. I want to dance with that rage. I want to break things, tear stuff to pieces with my bare hands. I want to chew stuff and spit it out with a fury. I want to scream until my lungs hurt and I go hoarse with the effort. I want to run, actually run until I cannot take another step, and then I want to collapse with exhaustion so that strangers gather to ask, “Is she okay? Is she conscious? What can we do to help her? She clearly needs help. Something is very, very wrong.”
I am waiting for the mad. I want it to descend from above, like a noxious gas that I cannot escape, that I breathe in with huge gulps until I feel my chest getting tight and I form my hands into fists, ready to lash out at the first thing that comes within striking distance. I am stronger than I look, I could do some damage I bet, with a fist like that and near perfect eye-hand coordination. I want to swing with all I’ve got until I make contact with something that will not give way to the effort. I want break my hand, wear a bandage and a sling, do permanent damage so that I will remember this feeling—this feeling of release of all the anger, so that I have a starting point from which to measure how I have healed, how I have overcome my most ba
I am waiting for the mad, but it will not come, it is not here, it is not in me, I cannot find it, no matter how deeply I reach, no matter where I look for it. It is nowhere to be found.
So I have to settle for madness, the kind brought on by a sad that just won’t quit.