When I close my eyes, it's like stepping into a whole new world. White flecks in the darkness flash green and blue, the blackness bleeds red and I feel the sun warming denim. It makes me feel as though I'm at a standstill. Like this is a dream, a form of aesthetic that isn't quite my flavor and I have no place but an intrusion.
I hear wind chimes in the far distance, like a sparkle made up of sound waves and I suddenly wonder if the neighbors down the street are feeling this way as well. Or if it's just a fantasy, if this world is just a daydream away and we're the blurred figures we never remember but always see, like how people from dreams are real life people you've seen before. I like to imagine ourselves as those people, forgotten but lingering in the mind of whoever is staring down at us, if there is one anyway.
I find it easy to breathe: no weight down my chest or numbness crawling up my esophagus. My leg is swinging, my eyes are scanning and I should be enjoying this day like a normal person should.
But I'm not. Not because my heart is slowing down or that my mind is pulling me apart but because I know that whatever I do there is a filter that blocks me. Because even if I act happy and normal there's still a screen between us, made up of stigma and prejudice. Because I'm me.
I hear a baby's cry, ebbing into laughter and I wonder if I can be that innocent, that happy again. If I can be content with my life.