You Can Win the Battle But Never the War of Your Mind by Darius Purnell

You Can Win the Battle But Never the War of Your Mind by Darius Purnell

Week 5 (August 3, 2015): Playwright Session with Philadelphia Young Playwrights

What does it take to tell a story and to tell it well? Darius Purnell an inspiring teacher and playwright shared his story of her during the final week of the program.

“I just feel so numb.”

I lay in my bed, body clenched from mixtures of emotions. Anger, Sadness, Frustration. Why is this happening. I was happy! I was finally happy for once. Truly happy. I swallow my anger and tried to calm down.

I text back.

Me: Ok

A bubble pops up. She begins to type.

Her: How do you feel?

I pause. How do I feel? She is someone I was always able to fully express myself with. An “idk” isn’t an answer with her. I start typing. For once, I’m not going to hold back my feelings.

Me: Life is all about the seconds, not the minutes, not the hours, not the days, not the years. It’s about just 1 second. One second is all it takes for your life to change. It takes 5 seconds to read a winning lottery ticket and match it to the winning numbers. It takes 3 seconds for a break up to begin. It took one second for me to snap into a reality with you. Then it took another for me to snap out of that reality into one that’s realistic.

The bubble pops back up. She responds.

Her: Oh

When I’m overloaded with more than two emotions, in the end I speak everything that’s on my mind. I continued to speak more fully in that conversation. I just kept texting paragraph after paragraph of every word that entered my mind. Eventually she stopped answering and waited until I was done. For once I felt at peace with myself. She was surprised to finally know how I completely felt.

Not everyone knows how I feel all the time. Usually people get a half story of my emotions during a certain time. One of my biggest weakness that makes me cower into a corner and become completely quiet of how I feel is my father. No matter what the conversation, I always hesitate and stumble on every word I say. With him, I have to battle my mind who just wants to let everything out but could cost me a lot of trouble, whether its clever comebacks or outburst from anger. So 99%, I keep everything to myself in fear that one of those two scenarios happen.

“I don’t know.”

All the the terrible events that could take place in the future fill my mind. I can feel all the stress and anxiety, the blood boiling. Why is he asking me this? What is he trying to accomplish?

His stern voice begins to rumble in my ears with his reply.

What do you mean you don’t know?! How about next time you ask me for something instead of thinking about I’m just gonna say ‘I don’t know.’ How you like them apples?”

His frustration was like a slap in the face when his question threw me in the corner and ambushed me.

I wanted to respond with “I like apples.” It’s enough that if he doesn’t see it as getting smart with him, he can see it as me being “stupid and simple minded” like he always seen me as. I just stand there in silence with my confused face. I sink my head into my coat. The lights just seem too bright, they feel like a thousand infernos against my face. I think about this situation with my clouded head of his random question.

Every once in awhile, everyone has a battle with themselves. Whether it’s pushing yourself to go the extra mile in a work out, that extra step to achieve a higher grade on a project, or fighting your subconscious on what to say in a current situation. These battles may be common for some people and for others it may just occur few times in their life. For me however, I usually have a battle like this everyday. There are times where I don’t speak a word and just listen and other times, everything in my mind is spoken. The variable that helps me decide this, is usually based on the person, place, and subject. With certain people, when I speak out my mind of certain subject they begin to see me as a different person. Others see something wrong if I’m quiet. I have to constantly fight myself by knowing when to speak and when not to. I can win most of the fights but I’ll never win the battle against my subconscious mind.