I can feel a small bead of sweat start to roll down the side of my face, Joel is talking to me, I can faintly hear what he is saying over the sound of my heart beat, its loud and fast and it should be. We’ve prepared for what feels like our whole lives for this moment. I’m constantly running the plan through my head, even though I know it off by heart, it’s a nervous habit, I’ve picked apart every possible reaction to the scenario but it never feels like enough, maybe I missed something. Joel’s still talking to me, he knows I’m not listening but he continues anyway, he loves the sound of his own voice, I’ve actually never even heard him listen to music, it wouldn’t surprise me if he just recorded himself spouting gibberish and played it back to himself every night before bed.
Focus Matt, another nervous habit of mine is to go off on tangents, webs of thought, interlocked all while repeating the same plan over in my head; like essays printed over the top of each other, a jumbled mess of words but they ease me and somehow even focus me, they think space is the final frontier, the mind thinks again.
I’ve never been this nervous before, I look at Joel to gauge his anxiety, he seems calm but he’s still talking, I don’t think he’s yet to fully realise the depth of what we are about to do. I embrace the nervousness, to me it arises in moments that either will move you forward, propel you to what ever kind of goal you have in life, nudge you that ever closer, or it represents a terrible decision which will push you back, perhaps even kill you. The dang thing about it is you never know which one it’ll be until you’ve done it, and then there’s no going back.
I hear Joel say something that sends a shiver down my back, “Should we do this?” “What do you mean should we do this? We’ve prepared, we’re here, we’ve done all we can, moments like this in life are few and far between Joel, we have to do this” I look at him with a intensity that I know is making him uncomfortable but he should be, this wont be easy. I watch him look at his feet, a silence follows, as the air is void with his pointless babble, I can hear kids in the distance, playing, laughing. If only they knew, if only they knew.
Joel finally looks up at me; the blue hue seeping in covers his face, he looks lifeless, close to death. “Can we do this?” “Joel! Goddammit man! YOU ARE READY! YOU HAVE TO BE! We are about to do what people only dream of doing, we are going to LIVE! Live in the moment! Surrender to the current, be taken by life BUT we have a plan, boy we have a plan, we’ve studied that plan and we will execute that plan.” I try to inspire the poor son of a bitch, even though his anxiety is affecting me, I swallow it down and try not to let any of it show on my face, the slightest emotion that I’m as scared as him will see Joel run for the hills.
“Ok.” That’s the most confident I’ve ever heard Joel sound in his whole life, he talks a lot but it’s in the little things that you hear peoples true self. “We’ve got this buddy, we’ve got this. Lock and fucking load.” The sound of rapid mouse clicking and keyboard tapping fills the air.