An Ode to Sanity – A Short Story by Imaan Siddiq
I can’t seem to unsee the demise that lies untethered in my line of sight. The flames of reverence that shall glisten on the doomsday of an unhindered gloom yet I won’t survive. I might as well die of internal conflict rather than the extrinsic shame. Maybe I am not worth the commotion or the self-satisfaction that my counterparts inhibit. Perhaps, my inhibition is but the calling of failure that leaves me bewildered, but I might just want to disappear.
“Settle down, perhaps grab a glass of water. This is nothing but a safe space.” A safe space? The word echoed in my head but I couldn’t even define that in the borders of my own insanity. As I grappled with this fading creed, I pinched the swollen skin behind my arms to conceal the anxious jitters. “You’re supposed to be normal…”, but maybe I could just blame the relentless shivering to the blazing cold and she might even just forget about the chronic anxiety that I conceal in a faltering stature.
“She is probably just stressed out with academics and you know how students these days could act just a little overwhelmed…”, my mother’s voice trailed off as the warmth of her hand on my shoulder felt hypocritical. Overwhelmed, is it another term for the psychotic? Would she really want me to talk about disorders in the battling safe space for I had lost vision of who owned it. I certainly didn’t.
Moments later, I was seated like a tame animal as my caretaker exited silently, the code of sanity drilled into my fidgeting cover up. “Don’t move your legs, it portrays that your fidgeting. She might apprehend that you are anxious and belong in a white-washed asylum that isolates the likes of you.” sighed the one that was probably regretful at the sorts of a child like me. “But what if she could actually help me…”. “You do not require help, you just need to sleep.”
Sleep. Should I tell her about a silent trauma or keep in tact the collective comfort space for my expression seems to destruct it every passing second. “Uh, don’t you think it’s cold?” I mumbled in the still silence. The therapist grasped a cushion and passed it to me, a restless gleam in her eyes, “A friend perhaps might help?” I fumbled with words but resolved my despondency and contemplated – if only friends were animate like my petrification.
“Petrification?” she glanced at me momentarily. The muscles in my leg tightened as my clenched fist pressed into my limb. “Sanity…”. “Do you want to write down something, perhaps you like vintage quill pens?” “PTSD.” I whispered in the subconsciousness that was the concealed reality, “Is that not what you are here to diagnose me with?” Her eyes widened in perplexity and the safe space corrupted as I fathomed the shock of my own elephant in the room. Shock was perhaps an understatement as I hustled to exit the room, the silence echoing my concealed sobs. She grasped my elbow and mumbled, “Well then, you’re doing just fine.”