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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jacque-In-A-Box

I fell asleep too early - overwhelmed by my day and lying naked in my bed. The price is being awake at midnight. The small moment of peace I felt in those moments gone, replaced by worn nerves and overloaded senses. The feel of the hair on my neck, the itch from sunburn and bug bites, the dog's coughing, the cat going in and out the cat door, the heaviness of the quilt, the ache in my jaw and pain in my ear all poking away at me.

I wonder if this is how the jack-in-the-box feels. There's Jack, all content hiding in his quiet, dark space. He  thinks he's under control now and when someone comes along and starts winding him up, he'll handle it differently this time.

But then the handle turns. The music starts. At first it's bearable and almost nice. Jack tells himself, "See you can handle this!" The music picks up speed and the click, click, click of the handle gets louder. "Just breathe, Jack. It's really not that bad. You're over reacting. If it's really bothering you, just gently open the lid and ask them to stop." He can't. He's not sure why, but he's frozen inside his once peaceful box hoping the person will get tired and move on.

It doesn't stop. The music keeps going and acts as a grater on his nerves. The clicking handle spins faster. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's...AAAGGGHHH!" It's too much and Jack explodes from the box letting all the pent up energy and emotion out in one blast.
Well, hello Jack
As the bouncing stops and the nerves calm, does Jack feel embarrassed at his over reaction? Is he abashed by his dramatic exit from the box with arms flailing? Ashamed as the look of surprise crosses someone's face?  Does he think he'll just go back into his box for a little bit. Just long enough to regroup and then he'll come out slowly and peacefully the next time, only to find himself moving through the vicious cycle again? Does he wonder how he got himself stuck in this box in the first place and if he'll ever be free of it and able to cope without hiding?

Maybe that's not how it is for Jack. Maybe it's really all fun and games to him.But I'm tired of being Jacque-in-a-box and I'm going to keep exploring how to be free.

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