Occasionally, I have this recurring dream of exasperating monotony and inexplicable inertia: I'm in a car driving down a road at night. I can only see a couple feet ahead of me, a small patch of road illuminated by my headlights. The entire universe outside of this space is pitch black. There are occasional curves in the road, but it's unclear whether my car is driving down a linear road of infinite length, or a closed circular path, like an ouroboros. I have no idea where I’m going or if I’ll ever get there. Even worse, time is insufferably dilated during these subterranean trips. When I’m trapped on this road, it feels like I have spent days and weeks trying to reach an unknown destination. But upon waking, I would discover only 10 minutes had passed. I’ve come to call this dream “sisyphus road” – a universe filled with cruel illusions of a grand escape, but in actuality all paths lead nowhere.
Some nights, I toss and turn in bed and let my past surface to the top of my consciousness. When I look back, inertia is a prison I’m intimately familiar with. As an only child born unexpectedly into my mother’s life, I was not an extension of my her hopes and dreams, but instead a mystery and a burden. My childhood came to be filled with daily fear and disappointments. For the first 18 years of my life, disappearing inside of myself was the easiest way to assuage her rage. Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t cry; recede into the void and be nothing. Inevitably, this constriction for survival became muscle memory, and the panopticon that my mother built followed me into my adulthood. But after years of compartmentalization, running away, and not living, I realized something else of hers also came along. The other night, I had an epiphany about this dream loop. It was never really about anxiety of the unknown. When I’m behind the wheel driving into the darkness, feeling powerless against the inertia and lack of control, I’m using all my strength to suppress something that has been slowly building inside of me for years – RAGE.