Guilt is a peculiar creature. At times, it’s an ever-present bedfellow. It expands gradually, scooting you farther and farther to the edge. You have that moment in which you teeter there—knowing you are destined to fall, even more that you deserve to fall—but in that moment, you just focus the weightless serenity of imbalance (willfully ignoring the impending crash).
Other times, it comes out of nowhere. You scurry from task to task, the rush and automation of every monotonous day, heedless of it crouching in the corner. Then, one image. One word. And—SLAM. It hits you like a brick. Like a brick-filled sack of clichés. It sucks the air out of your lungs with its tired familiarity. Your heartbeat surges until your head whirls with the old thoughts. You are left . . . gasping. Off balance.
Sometimes, its aftertaste lingers. It colors your face and body movements as you play the role of yourself for the remainder of the day. At least one notices but remains silent. Other times, it dissipates quickly—leaving you to wonder if it was there at all.