I am on a long journey, and my body comes along like a child in the backseat.  Over and over, it asks me, "Are we there yet?"  From the back seat, my body complains about motion sickness.  It complains about being hungry.  Or thirsty.  It complains about the temperature.

 

With my eyes on the road, I tell my body, "If you’re quiet, I’ll buy you an ice cream cone."

 

Out of duty, I go to visit my body in a home for the elderly and infirm.  With a sigh, it tells me that growing old is hard.  "How are your knees?" I ask.  "Is your back still bothering you?  Are you taking your medicine?"  I wish we had more to discuss than the latest symptoms and analgesics.

 

With my eyes on the clock, I tell my body, "I’ll see you again soon."

 

Although my feet are on level ground, my body feels like it’s poised at the edge of a diving board.  I’ve exchanged the butterlies of my childhood for three vultures and an emu.  The emu can’t fly, and the vultures don’t even try.  They sit inside me, ruffling their feathers and waiting for something awful to happen.

 

I feel the carbonated foam of my anxiety; I’m like two liters of soda inside a plastic bottle.  I’ve been rolled across the parking lot.  I’ve been bounced over uneven ground. I’m heading straight for the highway.  If the seal is broken, I will probably explode.

 

My breathing is shallow.

 

My arm is numb.

 

Everything I’ve told you happens in a moment.  I’m sitting at a table on my patio.  The trees around me are green, but tinged with the first colors of autumn.  It is a beautiful, terrible time of year.  For days, my body has followed me around like a cat that meows and meows and meows.  I ask without expecting an answer: "What do you want?"

 

Suddenly, there is a tunnel of light.  Something connects between the pit of my stomach and a forgotten storeroom within my skull.  I can feel a tunnel open inside of me.  The pain within me has found a new-old door.  The connection is primal, but it surprises.  I didn’t see it coming.  I start to cry. 

 

For just a moment, I hope that crying will bring release.  I hope that everything inside me will finally come out.  I hope that this bodily function will purge me, like the catharsis that comes after food poisoning. 

 

I cry, hoping that I’ve finally arrived.

 

I am on a long journey, and my body comes along like a child in the backseat.  Over and over, it asks me, "Are we there yet?" 

—Mike Huber