We don’t get a vacation

I was walking home- a 6-minute walk from the bus stop, past the big pond in a neatly kept neighbourhood. My glance trailed down as I turned and the sun shone on my back. All around me I could hear the quiet of nature; birds hidden in trees, water gushing ceaselessly, a little breeze; and, of course, the children… laughing and playing without a care in the world. In front of me, my shadow moved but I didn’t feel sure that I was moving at all.

Smile, just smile… A neighbour approached.
“Don’t worry,” she said, no doubt having seen my vampire ashen face…
Her smile genuine… “It’s only just a little bit longer till summer vacation,” she said.

“Yes…,” I said. 
We passed each other. My body started fighting back the tears.
My shadow kept on moving forward.

Don’t you know?
Don’t you know?

We don’t get a vacation. It is not possible to book a plane ticket and to fly away. Not from me.

I want to.

The universe knows about the countless hours that I’ve stared out of a window, pretending I could fly. It has in fact registered the hours that I’ve spent in my dreams, in my head, in a book, in a series, in a film, in my editing, in my writing, out on the football field, somewhere with loved ones…

But don’t you know? We don’t get a vacation.
You can’t leave yourself.


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