there's a whole different smell in the air. something putrid and awful - and it's fresh. i can't really put my finger on it; i'm afraid to identify that smell because then that would confirm that it's something familiar. something familiar. that's the last thing i want, something that i know, something that i can recognize. i'm in a place where feeling familiar would not be the best of things.

i crank through the remedial dailies, as the banter of the cage i'm in rattles around me. faces look and thoughts point at me in distrust, and while i merely shrug on the outside i know that inside the deep, down and dark, it eats at what's good and confident, that it eats away mercilessly and unforgivably.

my mind calls it pseudo-motivation. it's definitely not full fledged motivation to excel at something great or achieve some sense of personal victory. it's the fear of being wrong and embarrassed, it's the requited knowledge (as in payback for knowing, if that makes sense at all) of being ashamed and yet doing or not doing and setting yourself up. i hate to say it, but when all those pretentious bastards sneered and said "you are your own worst enemy", they had it goddamn right.

and so i move in my pseudo-motivation, in my fear and knowing. i get that i'm not wrong and that i'm definitely not right, but i'm positive that i am not comfortable. where i can find my comfort is still a mystery. looking back and forth, i know that i've seen and experienced glimpses of it. yes, through all the oozing deceit and hate and uncertainty there has been comfort, mostly uneasy with a thin layer of actual, genuine happiness in and around it all.

the mystery is how to get there. i could probably stand up in confidence before a great tribunal and say what i need to do. finding out what needs to be done is never, never the hard part; it's always the matter of execution. it's the fear again, sitting on the outskirts of confidence ready to pounce, ready to tell me what to do, ready to hold my hand into failure.

i'm going to kick it in the ass.