It’s like this —
Imagine that you’re sitting at a table, your dining room table or maybe the table at your favorite coffee shop. You are in a place that is familiar to you and like many other times, you are seated as comfortably as possible. Your arms are resting on the table, body weighing forward. In your hands is your drink, hugging the cup. The grasp you have is tight enough where you feel secure that should someone bump into you, should the force of the wind slam the door and shake the table, the contents of your drink won’t spill. Yet, it’s loose enough should anyone come and take your drink, it would simply go without troubles. If you’re imagining yourself, sitting at a table in your favorite coffee shop, you might see bodies passing around you.
You can’t particularly tell if it’s busy, but you know that it’s being frequented by many people. Some folks are lingering, some are quick to exit after their order is in their hands. There might be some people who are working, their minds busily absorbing and processing different information. There may be a few people who are accompanied by others doing the same thing. Whatever they are doing, you are sitting in your seat, drink in your hands taking in all the different sounds and smells that dance and carry about. You are sitting there, feeling all that you can but not quite knowing to what you are taking in.
Obviously you can hear the sounds of the machine, grinding away to make another cup of coffee — the rattling of ice cubes are it’s scooped into a cup, and the quick ring of the cash register as the barista finishes another transaction. The smell of your own drink is strong, and perhaps it is the winter season and you inhale the sharp air that is dancing about outside each time someone opens the door. You inhale so deeply that your lungs are filled and resets your palette, exhaling out.
At a point, of what feels like an hour or two of sitting, you come back to your body and see that only five minutes have passed since you have gotten your drink and settled down. Your brows furrow together because it really did seem like time had past by so fast — you were sure that the folks that have sat down to work were almost done, and that there must’ve been so many people coming in for coffee. But it’s only been a few minutes.
You blink once, twice, a few more times before shifting your body back into the chair. At this point, you eyes gaze up or to your side — wherever the window is, is where your eyes go. And it happens again, although you can’t reallly hear or smell what’s going on outside. But you see everything and everyone and again, it doesn’t quite process in your mind despite taking in all of this stimulation. There is someone or something that is occupying the space in your mind that you can’t seem to close all the way.
Perhaps it isn’t necessarily a box, it seems. Whatever this someone or something is, it’s a thing that you have placed away on a shelf. It blurs in the background as you navigate everything else but it is always there. You have condensed it into a smaller thing so that you are not cluttered. Every now and then though, it seems to have grown in size and hoard up more space on the shelves than you would have liked. But you are not a carpenter so you’re not able to make more shelves to store all the other things and people that you would like. Instead, things are piled and stuffed, sometimes tossed to the floor.
The easiest thing, the first thing would be to stop and say, “Perhaps I should think to throw this annoying thing out, it is the cause of all these other things not being able to find a home,” but it doesn’t and when it does, you brush off that solution. Instead, it continues to occupy you — hoarding more and more.