“How did I get here”

He says to himself

Bleary, numb, and burning behind the eyes,

After three nights of insomnia,

Night eating for no real reason,

Mood swings that would floor a horse,

And being best friends

With his toilet from guilt driven nausea

(And so very thankful that it is there)

To serve as a throne of relief

Through all this wonderful and sparkling

Night of silence and judgement

Which has become the way of things.

He caught his face in the mirror,

Still gaunt and drawn and tried to think

Of a time where he didn’t feel this way,

A time where he could live his life

And grab “all the gusto”

(As the old old beer ad used to preach);

And know now that grabbing that “gusto”

Did nothing in the end to

Try and get through the

Abandonment and silence-

Grab onto guilt

Grab onto pain and shame,

Grab into indignity,

Grab onto this insufferable self image,

And grab onto uncertainty that his life

Would actually last as long as he wanted it to…

The man in the mirror looks back—

He’s angry,

He’s tired,

He’s just spent 39 minutes in the restroom

….with much more awesome action to come,

And to fuel that routine

He’s hungry ALL the time

To drown his loneliness;

Like a lion in the Savannah

with no prey for days;

But mostly he’s so sleep deprived

That he has begun to find more contentment

Walking through and in the dark

And remembering…just remembering

When sleep was easy,

And the crippling realization

of how distant he is from love

And how he may only have left

In him before his eternal one comes to pass.

He sees his kids in that dark,

His grandkids too—

And he beats his soul to a spiritual pulp

That he’s stolen precious time from them

And refuses to forgive that in himself

As the jury of his mind screams “GUILTY”

And his vision of the future implodes.

He shambles to the window and stares out

And also remembers his wife and her silence and rejection

Over his stupid life choices

And the now daily “how dare you’s” and the

Inevitable “you should have thought about this”

That she says as he realizes his marriage

Is a casualty too as he lives in shame

—he stands in that darkness

and watches the bridge of his marriage burn.

He enters the loveless and black phase

Of his marriage where cold is king

And blame is the official law of the land….

And a law that is constantly gaveled

Into memory and despair for what once was.

He then heads back through the black

And gropes and claws

to find the dark which has become

His second best friend,

Throws open the door to an empty soul

And begins to to rummage through it

like a Viking in a nunnery—

Searching for something, ANYTHING, to feel

As his late night loneliness

And emptiness attacks

once again rear up,

stronger and so frequent

That it feels like

Holding the ocean back with a broom.

He finds a chair…

He sits

He weeps

He looks to the black ceiling and cries

He cannot embrace this “new normal”

He cannot shake the loneliness,

He cannot stand the pangs of hunger,

He cannot forgive his lack of any control;

The paralyzing fear of life slipping away,

The complete lack of dignity he once had,

The scratches on his hands and arms

That he hides with his shirts and

Covers with his hands

Each and every day so that others

Don’t feel he’s got issues.

But most of all, he weeps

Because he has no one to listen to him,

No place to fall

No empathy for this life change—

No warmth, just the biting cold of blame

(Both from himself and others)

And he weeps

that this black, consuming,

Enveloping and beckoning entity

Has become the only world

He can exist in and it’s an existence

Of solitude and of regrets.

“It’ll pass”, he says as he begins the daily lie;

“I’ll get through this”

But now at least,

His reality is in tatters

His dreams are ashes

His life is a train off the tracks

And his mind is full of anger

One day at a time…

That’s what they taught him

In endless Alcoholic Anonymous sessions

Where he really went for the coffee

And to try yet again to throw off the seductive

Blanket of love that came from each bottle

He drank…and he drank a lot of blankets;

Clutching the Big Blue Book

while secretly giving as little a shit as possible

Nd going through the motions

to falsely show himself as the others

he was walking the line when the only line

He was walking was straight to the bottle

And bullshitting to himself that

“I’ll get serious next time—this is the last one”

While his liver and his body quietly said

“You know better—and you’ll see that”

One day at a time now

Meant one day at a time of wondering

How long he has to walk this earth,

How something will always seemingly pop up,

How this isn’t over—

After all, his new pacemaker goes in next week;

And how he had the TIME where he could listen

And act

And stop

And change

And make something of his life

…and since that was a dream that failed

—what happens now.

He sips his third cup of coffee

Knowing full well it won’t sit right with his gut

And off he will fly again to the altar

To atone for that Java for another 39 minutes

But he doesn’t care anymore..

After all;

The sun has come crawling up

And the darkness is losing its ground

—Just like he is

…so he retreats back

into the shadows he can find

and waits again

For sleep to come and fail

And for another journey through the void

to begin again and call him to walk with it.

He lifts his anvil of blame and walks on—

“It’ll pass”, he says again

….and shuffles off to prepare to live like a game of eternal solituary.

Win, Lose, or Draw.


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