Cabin in the Woods

By Erin Callenius

Thoughts are funny.  They wind and weave, disappear, change, and then are gone.  I can’t ever get them back.  They aren’t even a memory.  What did they become? A chemical runoff in my brain, a landfill of unseen brainwaves. I miss some of those thoughts.  Some were powerful and true.  But lost all the same.

I mourn thoughts like those.  Like deaths of really good friends. I mourn them when they aren’t in the room with me.  I miss their power, the feeling they put in my chest. But then, like a disease-ridden being, they just die.  No warning, no wave, no send off.  No kiss on the cheek or forwarding address.  Just distance and then nothing.  I run around trying to catch the hand of those fleeing thoughts so that they might at least listen to my pleas, to stay just one moment longer, but in the end, it’s just a dark room and myself.

So I clutch my heart and pace, waiting for the next arrival.  I stand at the window pane and look out into nothing, waiting for a friend. Then, a knock on a door that wasn’t there before. I open it. “Come in,” I say quietly and step aside. I offer my most comfortable chair and light the fire. My cheeks get rosy from the warmth and I sit at this new thought’s feet. Waiting. Like a child sitting before an elder waiting for a story. I listen as this thought starts to speak.

Just the same though, some are tiny and leave as I’ve got my back turned, getting the kindling ready. But, some are so big, my proverbial ceiling sits on their slouched shoulders. All of a sudden, the roof is sitting on the back of a huge thought.  I start far away and try to remember it as a whole. Blur my vision, try to take in as many of the general features as I can, maybe at least an imprint of a facial feature, a color, a smell will stay long enough to bring the whole memory of this thought back. And then I slowly start to focus on certain things. Like the eyes and the mouth and the way the thought carries their hands when telling a really good story. We talk, sometimes we hit it off; sometimes it’s like being at the prom with a stranger. But those thoughts that become me, we become one and then they leave without a whisper. And are gone.

“Stay with me, please. I get so lonely,” I beg. When the door opens, the air in my head starts to change. Like when opening a door to the outside makes all the other doors quiver at the sudden shift in air pressure. Even they felt the thought leave. Those are the ones I miss.  The thoughts I share only moments with, the ones that feel like life changing days and months and years. We go through eternity together and I see how we end.  Those are the thoughts that make me fall to my knees and pray I don’t forget.

But I always do.