At the end of the day, I can't say whether I've moved a step ahead or a step back. Logic dictates that I must have done something, that somewhere throughout the long stretch of hours in which I was conscious, I must have done something. Perhaps I made progress, perhaps I relapsed into old habits. Perhaps I simply cried out all the sadness.
Progress is progress, is it not?
But when I stand here - my muscles sore from the act of living, my heart thudding wildly in my chest, full to the brim of malcontent and an ecstatic hunger, my fingertips stained black from ink or lead or filth - everything looks just the same. The horizon hasn't shifted. When I open my eyes tomorrow -
alarmed into consciousness by a screeching alarm -
I will still be here. The horizon will still be right where it is. The highway will be noisy and clogged. My malcontent will rise back up like bile in my throat and settle like a fine dust in my mouth. I will be no further ahead, but no farther behind.
I want visible progress. Tangible evidence that I am moving ahead, trudging ever-forward into the dank, rotting mess of living paycheck to paycheck. I know where my home is. I can feel her in my soul, miles and miles and miles away. She knows me; the feel of my tired bones, the weight of sorrow like lead in my lungs, the blistering joy that explodes inside of my ribs when she comes into view.
The days are long and great in number that sit between she and I, but I am a creature made for torment and trials - as unstoppable as the wind and as ceaseless as the tide.
I will sink my toes into her shores again, and when I do, I will not leave her.