Anxiety is like living next to a busy road and feeling responsibility for every car that goes past, even though you know each and every one is driven by someone else.
Somehow you can't stop listening. You are at home, the car is separate, the driver is separate: you are unlikely ever to meet and could pass them in the street without knowing. And still, here you are, paused in mid-step, face turned partly to the door, trying not to, trying to walk on, facing the noise.
You are inside your house and safe, yet you strain to hear the cars as they turn the corner at the end of the road. Your senses are acutely aware of the tyres squealing when this other driver decides to set off too quickly or speed. You know there is a tricky turn further down the next road and you hear more squealing as the brakes are applied.
and in your mind's eye
is every turn that can be made and each little danger just ahead of it
and then every big danger that exists in the worlds of
Might Be or Consequence.
Later, when you can't sleep and there is nothing wrong, you lie with one hand clutching the other and listen for cars going by, one, one, two together and eventually drift into dreams of roads tumbling into motorways, ditches waiting in country lanes, sudden turns and unreadable signs.
In the morning, waking to the sound of traffic, you sit up and look at your hands, determined this day to only worry over what can be seen and felt by these two hands.
Closing the doors and windows to shut out the traffic you consider, then build a barricade of soft blankets and down pillows to blot out the noise of a hundred separate engines. Sure, it's difficult to move in a hurry and tricky to step over as you leave, but whoever said life was easy?
Closeted in your muffled rooms you look at your hands and smile. Somewhere out there is traffic but you won't hear it today.
only imagine it as it passes and imagine it turning the corner and know if something happens, you
wouldn't hear it because all is quiet at last.