I promised some fiction, and here it is. I’ve been listening to a lot of Pearl Jam lately, so perhaps that inspired this. I’m not sure where it came from, but I wanted to share it with y’all.
Everything built to one moment, an unfortunate series of events and deceptions that gave birth to a terrible mistake. Suddenly, what was once shrouded by the dusk had come into the light. Sunshine worked through, and yet even with the brightest reveal, there was nothing to find.
I knew I was vulnerable, surrounded on all sides by forces I recognized and a few I didn’t. I felt like a boxer who realized too late the mistake he’d made – that span of time where all is slow and you see the crushing blow moving in. I cannot duck, I cannot turn, I cannot avoid. All there is to do now is hurt.
But what I did not know is how little would remain after the storms crashed on the shore. All is gone, everything that once stood supposedly strong, leaving nothing but the ache of old memories and the sting of a future washed away. No joy, no pleasantries. Just the ache.
But, no. There is in fact more, however I’d prefer not acknowledge it. There’s anger. A dull, omnipresent ache may eventually breed a kind of tolerance, but that comes only after a period of rage. I feel it inside me, a desire to send a receipt for the wounds that linger. But what does that make me? Is that the person I wish to be, responding to offenses with harsher blows of my own? Shall I brawl for the sake of brawling?
The truth is, if I allow myself to return fire, I’ll be something worse. I’ll be someone worse.
I’ll be you.
I have learned. I have grown. I have left you behind.