I need a second

The weight and complexity of the world is way too much for me to handle first thing in the morning, but there it is, even before I open my eyes.

There's just so much that is awry in so many places,
so much pain that can never be taken away,
so many mistakes being made and being atoned for,
I just wish things could be perfect, for everyone, just for a second, I just wish that for a second things would make sense in the world and all the injustice and terror and uncertainty would be pulled back like a sodden synthetic comforter drenched in sweat and the world could breathe

for a second

feeling the cool night air
and being peaceful.
Just for a second. 

But that second hasn't happened yet.
Or maybe it did,
back in the Middle Ages, or sometime in 1996, I think I remember...
Maybe that second was the second I kissed my first girlfriend under a bridge,
a tiny kiss under a tiny bridge over a tiny stream for just a second, maybe that was it.
Or maybe it was the second I was conceived,
or the second when some craftsman 700 years ago was just super satisfied about making a really perfect candle, just so elegantly tapered and smooth, you wouldn't even believe how flawless this candle was.
Any of those might have been THE second,
the harmonious point where things were in balance for an instant,
and I missed it.

Or then again, like I said, maybe that second hasn't happened yet. 

All I'm saying is I need a second
before the whip crack of another chat notification,
before the daily onslaught of righteous outrage,
before the walk to work
in the rain
past the
there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I-homeless with their
there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I-ravings and their
there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I-cravings for drugs, real drugs, and I get that.
Because there's only that one second when you're high.

And MY big secret is that there is only a thin, bloody membrane of luck and privilege that holds firm between the man who stands before you today and a disheveled maniac confined to the freedom of the streets.

But today I'll get dressed,
and walk to work,
past the men who wander the city,
the incessant chatter in their heads splashing out of their mouths onto the sidewalk like steaming coffee spilled in the rush to an early morning meeting.
I pretend like I don’t see them, mostly.
Mostly out of fear.
Not the kind of fear you get from a roller coaster, or from a home invasion.
Not fear for safety of body or security of life.
It’s the kind of fear you get from looking into a mirror on acid;
a psychedelic, existential fear.
A feeling that the world we experience, at its root,
is random,
and sterile. 

So yeah, I’ll get out of bed. Just gimme a second.