I’ve been lost many times. Mentally and physically. The physical lost is common for me; spaced out, I miss a turn or misinterpret instructions. I blink and don’t know where I am. After minutes or hours of swearing and fumbling, I find my way.
Mental lost is sporadic and lonely. It hits randomly, pulling me into a daze while walking down the street. It finds me when I’m waiting for water to boil, chewing on my cuticles in the kitchen. “What are you doing?” it whispers.
The lost is in my eyes. It’s the reason people occasionally ask, “Are you okay?” or wonder if they can help me find something. “I’m fine,” I always reply. And I am. I’m just momentarily lost.
There are ways to push away the lost. I write, walk, run, run far, run fast, run with music so loud in my ears I can’t hear my own breath. Sometimes I sit and listen and think. Try to hear if the lost is saying something.
It used to panic me, paralyze me, push me into hasty decisions. But now, I’m trying to treat it like the physical lost. Yes, I’m lost. It’s frustrating and I can’t remember my directions and the street signs are too small for me to read and I keep murmuring "Fuck" and "Jesus Christ" and twisting my hair into thick knots, but I’ll get there eventually. I always do.