Return of the Beast

It’s back.

That familiar brewing. Almost a rumbling. Almost a growling. A pressure within every limb like deep-earth magma pushing through appressed layers of boulders and granite, prodding in blackness for the faintest crack, the first sign of give to explode through, Vesuvius-style.

For months, I swear I’ve had it under control. 

But it’s slowly, nearly imperceptibly at first, begun to creep in. A little bit here. A friend posts pictures on Facebook of hiking snow-capped Swiss Alps. A little bit there. An Instagram shot of the brilliant green tiles of an elaborate Lisbon cathedral. A little more here. A gorgeous New York Times article about a trip to Amsterdam. A little more there. The man sitting next to me in a coffee shop, wearing a rugged Carhartt jacket, telling his companion about a road trip through New Zealand.

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I need a hit. I need my fix. Badly.

I thought I was ok, but I’m not. I am not recovered. I have not sown my wild oats. I have not gotten my need for newness out of my system. My intense curiosity is not quelled. My thirst for awe is not quenched. My craving for far away is nowhere near satiated.

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After my global sojourn, having departed my home country from the East and arrived a year later from the South, I re-booted my San Francisco life. I bought new plum-colored sheets for my bed, and new cat toys for Lucy to play with. I joined a gym. I got semi-readjusted to shellacking make-up on my face. I started going to happy hour with my friends. I found writing work again—plenty of it—sometimes a little too much, but I’ve savored it as if it were a rich dessert. And I know now 1,000% that I’m doing the right thing with my life and my career.

I mean…life is good…

But my arm is missing. Or maybe it’s my right second toe. Or something less visible, like a kidney or my tonsils. I feel phantom pains.

There’s somewhere—so many somewhere’s— that I am not in right now, and it’s rubbing me raw. Sandpaper on pink hot-shower-softened skin. It aches. It burns. It lights a flame at my toenails that threatens to spread upward with vicious velocity.

If I don’t get back out there and find my missing whatever-it-is…

Maybe it’ll pass.

Posing with the Lions

Or… maybe it’s time to come up with a plan. To give in to the hunger of the beast. To feed my addiction, letting it roar to life and leap away into the jungle. To freedom.

Will I be able to wait patiently for my cage door to open?

Or will I plot my own escape?


10 replies

  1. I LOVE this post! I think many of us can relate to this, even myself although I’m currently working abroad,I’m too settle and my feet are itching after only 4 months. The need for newness, and the unknown is like an incurable disease. You can manage the symptoms, but it can’t be cured. I hope you do what makes you happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, whatever it is you decide to do, I wish you good luck! 🙂 I love reading your post. To a lot of us, I’d say, they are like the get-away we are not able to have at this moment in time. They help us travel 🙂 and all thanks to you. But the most important part is for yourself to be happy. So, whatever you decide to do with the beast – I wish you all the best! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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