An up day begins. I call these days the good ones; the other days are called the bad ones. There’s seldom a day I can simply call an average one.
Up and down, I ride a rollercoaster every single day.
A good day begins with laughter. Always laughter. The optimism I feel is rooted in small things – a lover’s message, restful sleep, kind words, warm smiles – which lift me up and carry me through my day as if I am gliding far above the world, smiling down upon it. Far above it all I can’t make out the dirt in the cracks of my life; I only see the top of the rollercoaster, the pinnacle of exhilaration and the promise of good things to come. Laughter is easy, my thoughts sublime.
A bad day always begins with remorse. My thoughts spin in a labyrinth of regret and moroseness for many things – lost tempers, missed opportunities, failed loves. Down days take place in the world of the subatomic, a place where I can examine my individual faults in minute detail, tease open their black shells and expose the rotton nuclei at the center. The bottom of this rollercoaster goes far beneath the crust of the earth. It free falls down to absolute darkness and crashes onto bare rock and this is where I lie – surrounded by detritus of disappointment, sadness and self-loathing.
I see the people who can jump over the chasms of darkness and hill jump from one good day to the next. I wonder how they avoid the skeletal arms of sadness that seem to be able to snatch me down into their dark portal at will. My good days are cherished because of the dark ones. During those good days, I gather pennies of strength and laughter and store them up in my heart and my psyche and use them as currency to buy my way out of the madness.
I sometimes ask myself if I’d be satisfied living on top of the hills all the time, jumping from one to the other, and honestly the answer would be no. For as much as I ache when I’m drowning in the chasm, it makes the good days that much more valuable. I live in a world of polar opposites, rarely in the middle – up, then down, then up again.
I ride the rollercoaster. I am alive.