Sometimes I feel like I need to jump out of my skin. Has anyone else ever felt like that? Because right now, all I want to do is sit back and relax, enjoy the show. It'd be a good show. I am pretty entertaining, if I do say so myself. But there wouldn't be any show. Not really. No one around me knows anything is wrong. So in reality I'd be sitting back and relaxing, enjoying a peaceful hour of watching me outside of myself, typing away at the keyboard.
Why, you ask? Well, it's simple, really. I have this problem. I won't tell you what it is yet. I can't really focus enough to put it into the blunt words that most people expect, honestly. But here I go. I'll describe it to you.
The feeling starts in the pit of my stomach. It's like I'm carrying a rock the size of my fist around in there; I want to massage it away like it's a bad muscle cramp, though it's solid but not solid. This rock that isn't a rock won't dissolve in my stomach acid and it won't be shooed away by persistent hands rubbing in circles. At first it's just annoying. Something to barely interest me.
Then this feeling spreads. Chunks of the rock break off and start to worm their way to the outside of my body. They dissipate to the size of pinpricks and proceed to dance along my arms. It makes me squirm. This dancing isn't the nice dancing. The tapping and swishing of the pinpricks only makes the rock grow heavier.
My arms begin to twitch sporadically---the movement so miniscule that no one around me can actually see it---and I have to fight to keep still. But the rock is still in my stomach, demanding attention. It's just smaller. Smaller, but denser somehow.
With the addition of the pinpricks, the rock slowly travels, grinding and suffocating, up my solar plexus. I want to beat it down. I need to get it out of me, but the pinpricks start making me shift in earnest now and there's no time to concentrate on the rock. There are little people now walking across my skin. Stamping, banging, and pounding their tiny, annoying probably pointy-shoed-feet until I want to scream.
But I have to hold the scream in. The rock has made it to the middle of my chest.
I can feel my heart jump into the fray now. It likes to fake me out and do crazy rhythms on its own regularly, making me think of a somersaulting gymnast, but this is different. It knows the rock is coming for it. My heart knows that the rock shouldn't be there. The pounding of my frantic heart is starting to make my head spin, and I take a deep breath to steady it.
The deep breath doesn't come.
Instead, short bursts of air go down my strangled throat and come back up again. I don't even know if they really reached my lungs or not because they've started to ache. Maybe the rock has blocked my airways. This only makes my heart pound more. I need to get control of this. My fingertips have started to go numb. I need to get a grip on myself.
Is that even possible? My head starts to spin sickeningly again and my vision is blurry now and my fingers are clenching and unclenching and I've started to pace at the keyboard but---
I've stepped out of myself. My head cocks to the side quizzically. That was easier than I thought. I watch as my body is heaving with the stress of the rock. My fingers are back at the keyboard, but they're missing every other key. The misses are making my eyebrows furrow in concentration, fury, consternation. I look a bit mad.
So my body is still heaving on the inside, heaving on the outside, then. The little dancers on my skin are invisible; I knew right away that no one else could see them. I look closer. There aren't little dancers, or even little monsters, on my skin. When I was inside myself, I imagined them. Interesting.
Now that I am away from my body, I can't feel the rock. I can't feel the dancers. I heave a sigh of relief and realize that I can breathe. I don't have to worry about my heart exploding. It is thrumming in my chest at a normal, comfortable rhythm. Am I free?
I was free.
So this is how to do it, then. This is how I conquer the rock and the little dancer-monsters. Smiling, I take a step away from my body. When nothing happens---no earthquake shakes the building, no light bulbs shatter and spark over my head---I walk away.
I walked away.