We torture ourselves far more than any one else ever could. When we read The Scarlet Letter back in high school (at least by then hopefully) we marvel at the Reverend Dimmesdale’s self mutulation. “How could someone do that to themselves?” the young voices in the classroom ask. But, we do far worse to ourselves with amazing regularity – instead of the welts and bruises being hidden by our clothes, they are concealed deep within us.
We use our hopes, fears, loves and doubts to brutalize out egos and self-worth. We find the possibilities our hearts fear the most and dwell on them until our world swells with an anxiousness that anticipates with far greater magnifications the outcomes of what will happen. And then we pull ourselves back from the brink. We find reason, small shards of the glass we view reality through, reasons to hold out that what we want may be real or at least possible. And what we fear the most isn’t so.
That zigzag, too and fro, yo-yo of the emotions is what breaks us in the end. Holding a strip of tin maybe, no a paper clip, in our hands we bend it back and forth. This paper clip that should be holding the pages of our life together. Keeping everything neat and tidy and it the right order, but we are bending the metal back and forth. Bored? Expectant? Why do we do it? Hell, who knows, but we keep on flipping fore and back. Watching the joint, the bend, slowly turn murky and white as the structure weakens. And we keep going. With some perverse pleasure we wait for that small sound. That little click that accompanies the severing of the strand. And now it is apart. And can’t be put back.