Updated on

Who Do You Become When You Close Your Eyes?

What do you see when you close your eyes? No matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you will go, you’ll be met with an acute sense of darkness when your skin covers your corneas.

I spend a lot of my day in thought, aware of the world around me, but also caught in some weird mixture between awareness and delusion. All the things I perceive are interlaced with my own personal experience and cognition. I see this strange world, not for what it is, but for what I make of it. And for better or worse, this is how it will be until I expire. A constant stream of internal lies and half-truths.

When I serve tables, drive my car, or have a conversation with a loved one or family member, I’m actually a starving artist scrimping by until my big break, a rebel without a cause headed to my next environment of despair, a comedian showing off my craft to a crowd of onlookers, or a deeply emotional man who’s capable of nothing but deep empathy with those I talk with. I’m not sure whether this is a healthy product of ambition or a deep psychological abandonment of what it means to be me. The only time these tricks wear off is in the deep recesses of the night. When my brain has had too much for the day and my eyelids can no longer contain the tiredness that precludes their position over my eyes.

That’s when I really feel. That’s when I really exist. When I have no stimuli. No distraction. No self-made image to maintain, and no warped perception of the world around me to keep going. It’s these nights when my thoughts are shrouded in darkness that I truly start to think. I think about my mistakes, my regrets, all the things I should’ve done differently, or could do differently. And just when it’s time to fix them, time to tie up all the loose ends, and come up with a real solution to deal with the universe around me, that’s when I drift to sleep. Into a world of my own complete creation. A fairy tale land that doesn’t seem too far off from this existence I have cultivated.

It’s tough to see the black, but it’s even more difficult to see it during the day.