The Inside

December 16, 2008
By Colin Mark, Tenafly, NJ

I’ve spent too much time on the outside
Not to know what it’s like to be on the inside

I have spent enough time on the edges
Enough time outside the boundaries
It’s the inside that fascinates me
The inside that arrests my attention
And holds me against my will
Outside the lines

I’ve spent too much time on the outside
Now I fear the inside

When you walk past those boundaries
You give everything up
You surrender your autonomy
You surrender your self control
You surrender common sense
And you surrender your originality

After too much time on the outside
I’ve learned too much
I’ve understood too much
I’ve forgotten that I’m not supposed to
I’ve forgotten that I’m supposed to be wrong
That I’m supposed to make mistakes
That I’m supposed to fall

The ground is the inside
It’s the place where you hit
When you’ve fallen
Over the event horizon
And into the abyss

Life sucks us up
Like the black hole we call the inside
I’ve learned to love the boundaries that keep me sane
But alone
I miss humanity
Why did it have to fall?

The analog clock on my night table ticks incessantly
Time is moving forward
And I’ve bolted myself down
Just past the boundary
Waiting for time to break the seal
The clock won’t stop ticking
No matter how much I entreat it
To just let me be
For just a little while longer

I’ve spent too much time on the outside
Not to know that it doesn’t matter how long I try to put off the inevitable

I’ve forgotten that I have to fall
Over the edge
Along with the rest of us
I’ve forgotten that my home
Is in that hole just passed that boundary
The inside

Once you go inside
You don’t come out

I’ve spent too much time
Watching people slide past my chains
And into that gaping maw
Not to know
That the inside is the final destination
No one leaves
They forget that they’re there
I’ve called from my perch just outside the boundary
They can’t hear me
They don’t want to
They prefer their inside
To reality

The inside has changed them
Every one of them
Into something that they are not
One can’t help but wonder
If they were all alike even before they changed
Into something that none of them are

Now they have no purpose
Now they have nothing but a hole
Sucking up everything they used to fill it
And sucking them into it too

There is only one direction that you can fall
Once you fall inside
You can’t come up again
Which means
There’s just one way out of the inside:
The pit is only bottomless…

Until you realize that you’re falling

So you see
I’m happy on the outside
Shackled to the edge of this hole
No clock
Can ever convince me to go over that edge

I may not be able to go anywhere
These tethers keep me fairly stationary
But I’d rather not move
If moving can make me fall
I will not hit your ground
I will not go past that boundary
I will not careen over that edge

I’m not coming inside
And I’m done trying to convince everybody to come out again

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