The cliff face is steep, sheer. The drop will be deadly; you know this, but in this knowing you learn things about yourself that you would rather not know. You learn about fear and anguish. You learn about self-reprisal. You learn that your bluffs are sometimes just bluffs, and that your stubborn streak could kill you.
The smart play is to turn around. Clearly. There is nothing to prove here except to the hikers who will find your body at the bottom. Figure you slipped. They won’t understand that you were proving something to yourself. They won’t see that it mattered.
So, it won’t matter.
You don’t realize as you hang onto the rocks that you will still be reliving this moment far in the future. 25 years later, and you still wonder if you could have made it to the bottom. And, if you had, what would it have meant. Doesn’t matter. You climbed up, went home, got drunk. Played some shows.
The cliff is still there. You will never find it. But maybe, someday, it will make sense. Maybe someday you will forgive yourself for being so lost that you couldn’t make a decision. Couldn’t do right by yourself. You didn’t figure out a way to die, so you had to figure out a way to live.
Sometimes, it’s a long walk out of the woods.
You’re in the eye of the storm, but don’t get comfortable. Outside the eye, everything is chaos. You can’t feel safe, no rest. You can’t relax because those tropical winds will suck you right the hell of that momentary calm. Send you reeling. Farmhouses flying by and Aunty Em, Aunty Em, was that a little black dog?
See, that Dog got sucked right out to sea. It’s drowning now. Bermuda triangle.
People are going to swirl by you and it’s tempting to reach out and touch them, grab them, pull them in towards you where everything is peaceful. Quiet. Careful, they might also pull you into the maelstrom. And maybe they’re having fun out there.
Just because you like peace and quiet doesn’t mean it’s good for everybody.
This is last time you will ever feel at ease if you don’t find a way to stabilize yourself. Winds blow and the sky will get dark. There will be thunder and lightning. Still, the eye is one of your own making. You just have to make it. One man’s calm is another man’s storm.