Holding on to the roots of a brittle tree that gave way in his hands, breaking off piece by piece. New growth replaced what was lost, but as it grew from his chest it left in its place a vulnerability to be protected, though often neglected.
What's the point of living like everyone else? Doing things that you don't enjoy? Only to end up old, broken, alone, sick, and dead?
Why should we feel guilty about not living up to expectations that don't suit our needs, wants, & desires?
There's something about people who live extraordinary lives.
The way that they die is also extraordinary.
Or is it? Is it just that they are in the spotlight, and because they were who they were and what they accomplished make their death any more important/spectacular than someone who lives an average, mundane, or low-key life? A "nobody".
How do you, "die well"? With dignity? Seems like there’s never a good time to get it right. Who needs the pressure of that anyway? Dying well? Most of us are just trying to get through life, avoiding uncomfortable truths.
He awoke with one fist clenched tightly as if the dream hadn’t been satisfactorily realized. The aches in his shoulders, back, and legs, were a telltale sign that he was now closer to middle age than his mind would allow him to know.
It was a Sunday, but not a day of rest. His mind wandered as his eyes adjusted to the morning light entering the room from what were supposed to be blackout window coverings. Everything is a scam.
His thoughts brought him no peace.
Too much to do today, which included multiple attempts to pretend like everything was ok.
Randomness filled no voids, it only led to more anxiety.
17 and quarter. The average age of his children. Almost 18…
He thought “I was 18 thirty years ago, and thirty years from now I’ll be 78 just like Dad”.
Time to shower dad, I'm up.
Dad and I spent some time walking together this afternoon. I guide him by holding his right arm with my left. When he feels my touch, he reflexively says,
thank you, buddy.
Then he tells me;
you’re a good man.
While he taps my chest.
His expression is evidence of his brain telling the rest of his body to divert all the stored chemical energy to the muscles in his face that make his lips pucker in the middle and curl up at the edges. Making him smile makes me smile, and it feels good, until one second later when it doesn’t. Everything is not as it was. He has no idea who I am. No idea who he is.
I chose to live in this moment.
A little over six years ago, I was stressing about the usual stuff someone in their early forties stresses about. Politics, the economy, things I couldn’t control at work, why I had to work in the first place. I found myself in the fortunate position of having a happy home life. Living it up as a dad to amazing kids and an equally fantastic wife.
Your “real” family is usually the one you choose. There are most likely more strangers with the same blood running through their veins as you, that could give two shits about you, than there are people that you were drawn to start a life with. And then, you make people together and pray that they don’t end up fucking hating each other. It’s a fever dream, and in your head, you are a cycle breaker.
It’s nice to have them around, people whose only want from you is for you to love them as hard as they love you. In them, I found respite from the daily stressors that led me to the H.E.B. every day after work to pick up a six-pack of The One They Call Zoe, and something sweet for everyone else so that I could enable myself as a provider. I hadn’t yet cared enough to examine the reasons behind the choices I made to numb myself, mostly because…
Everything was ok.
Please allow me to, Clareifi 🎙️
I haven’t had a beer in three months. It feels like years, and my demons miss their mark.
He turned to alcohol at an early age, he thought later in life that it was to drown out all the noise from the voices in his head. He later realized that he wasn’t so different from everyone else after all.
He was crazy.
Tomorrow is another day.
everything will still, not be ok.