I was joined on my morning commute by a grasshopper. They are weird little creatures, especially in pre-dawn morning hours, looking like malformed aliens of some distant reality, or ourselves on bad days where instead of addressing our root issues or practicing self-care we lash out at others, but maybe less ugly. This one had rested on the lower left part of my windshield and hung on as I drove out of my apartment-mansion complex.
It held on during my freeway commute.
There was a patch of road where stagnant water began to pool just lightly enough to sprinkle the windshield with temporary droplets of water. Normally I would have used my windshield wiper fluid to wash this to a consistent, minor grime, but with the grasshopper clutching onto life just right of middle, I figured I could endure a more minor inconvenience.
That grasshopper is like me or you.
We exist in this life where we have forces bombarding us so frequently that those of us with addictions might rather take that stream of water and brush of a wiper to having to endure such a pain. I know that feeling well. Instead of being seduced by that comfort, I, too, clutch onto that metaphorical windshield.
Let the winds, rain, and pain pour.
I may be haunted on some days by merest mistakes while I shave, take out the trash, walk to my car, browse for groceries, talk to others, or drive to work, but at least I can do all of those. There are most days where I don’t find myself on a wild windshield ride. Those days are nice. It’s a little brighter to do anything when you’re not clutching onto anything you can for dear life against some invisible force far greater than you would have ever anticipated needing a courage you never knew you had just to ensure.
I exited the freeway careful not to use my wipers.
The grasshopper hid under the wipers as I arrived at the light just off the highway. I admired its resolve. I know I still have plenty of resolve, but considering all that surrounds me, both with my life, and the stresses inflicted upon others whose resolves may have been greater than mine but eventually succumbed, I choose to celebrate rather than lament. We must state these facts directly in order to open the floods of discussion. Life is vicious, vile, and yet beautiful.
I slowed down as I drove through the parking lot.
I kept looking at the grasshopper along my commute, betting to myself and you whether it would survive. Before I parked, I wanted to take a photo of it, maybe to use as a symbol of courage against an unknown force, but as I pulled into a parking stall, it moseyed off into the sunrise, a hero without a name or a cause, just some weird little bug that found itself on an uninvited journey.
We are that little grasshopper each and every day.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I hadn’t been feeling that well the day before or day of my writing this, so I didn’t have any ideas queued up to write about, but this little grasshopper buddy kinda stole the show. I’m happy with how this essay turned out.|
|Related: Other Sober Living essays.|
|Picture: Photos from three days later. The drawing was a stopgap since I didn’t know I’d be taking these photos of a grasshopper on a windshield. I wanted to find my plastic grasshopper and put it on my Clutch shirt, but I don’t know where the grasshopper is and I don’t like using visuals that I haven’t drawn, designed, or otherwise delineate as free to reproduce, I suppose.|
|Written On: August 9th [24 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: August 10th [Minor edits. First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|