Mario Villalobos

A dark fog on a dark morning taken inside a dark car


  • Journal

A fog has descended over the valley, and it’s driving all of us insane. I’ve felt like a daredevil driving to work in the mornings, pointing my car forward and hoping I don’t hit another car, tumble down a ditch, or miss my turn. It’s kept me young.

I had to remind myself how to do this. How to publish something online again. I had been thinking about this space, about what I wanted from it, but I’ve been focused on living, on trying to enjoy each day as it comes, to focus on now, on this breath, because in the end, ‌I will only have one last breath before I leave this world breathless. I want to exhaust my life force completely and leave Death nothing but a bag of bones.

How’s that going? It’s going. There are times, small moments throughout my day, where I catch myself and become aware of the mask I’m wearing, the mask that transforms me into a robot, a machine following a prewritten set of instructions, without thought, without awareness, and I think, what am I doing? I’m playing a part, playacting for some audience I will never see. Why? What for? I don’t know. But I catch myself and I feel this deep and hollow and foreboding hole in my chest, and it scares me, so to feel better, I put on my mask and I let myself forget. I distract myself with all the distractions we’ve created for ourselves, and I tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow.

One day, there will be no more tomorrows, and on that day, I think I will finally feel peace. But until then, I have a life I want to live, feelings I want to feel, people I want to be with, places I want to see, art I want to create. As much as I’ve been writing in my notebooks, the essays I write on this site just feel different. There’s something about them that I can’t quite reproduce in my notebooks, and so I’m here, on this first post of 2024, and I don’t know I want to keep coming back here, writing my words, living my life without my mask. And I think that’s what I’ve been missing, to an extent. A chance where I can just be me, honest and true and fucked up like everyone else.

Or maybe this fog has driven me insane, and I don’t know who I am anymore.