Friday, January 26, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

You didn't take a victory lap. You just packed that shit up and went home. It made me think. It made my heart pound a little bit. It impressed me, I guess you could say. I would have taken the lap. I would have signed the autographs. I would have listened to the women giggle. You didn't do any of that. 

There are times I can't even look at my own reflection in the mirror. So, any kind of adulation is terrifying, but delicious. I feast on it. I feel cheapened by it. 

I don't know if anyone else saw. Or noticed. I notice a lot of things. That's something I trained my brain to do. Most of the people were watching the lasers slice the fog machine. Most of them were lost. I wanted to be lost, but I have always been able to find myself, no matter how hard I try not to. 

The car was waiting. It didn't make any sense for me to dawdle, but I felt torn up and taped back together. I felt like someone had read my fortune and it had come true. I felt naked is the honest truth. Exposed, even if I was only exposed to myself. 

Maybe I will stay away for a while. Hole myself up. Get myself whole. Maybe all this has been a happens. Hell, it's happened to me. But I think it was real. 

Hallucinations don't hurt so bad. 


  1. At first you chalk it up to the time-whiplash of being back in a once-familiar place that has become unfamiliar. A meal, a good night’s sleep should take care of that, you think. But then you wake. And it doesn’t. It’s as if the world has been magicked out of one of its dimensions. All looks flatter, stiffer, the colors not as bright as you remember. You feel like an animated figure walking through a sketch of a background. It takes a moment to recognize the people in the photographs, the knickknacks on the shelves, those standing in front of you with hopeful, too-wide smiles. You want to grab them by the shoulders and give them a shake. Don’t you understand, you want to scream. Don’t you understand what happened?

    They back away. Their smiles grow more timid, their approaches more tentative, the way they interacted with that messed-up cat they used to have. The cat understood. You know that now. You wish you could apologize to the cat, long dead. But you heap it onto the growing pile of things you can’t change.

    You stay in bed until you hear the last of them close the front door and drive away. Then you troll through what remains, trying to make sense of it all, but it’s too hard, and television is boring, and you know far too well the slippery slope of that first drink.

    You are lucid enough to know you need to make a change. But not enough to know what that change ought to be. All you feel is…nothing. You fall onto the couch, let your gaze melt into the change of patterns through the windows as the sun tiptoes across the sky. The moving squares of light. The metaphor hits you like a big stupid hit on the head from a cartoon mallet: time marches on, but you, my friend, it has left you behind.

    Two telephone numbers do battle in your head. Always, the way things battle: the one you want and the one you should. The digits swirl and dance and taunt. Your chest tightens with the ramifications of both. Finally you choose. You get a recording. Your message after the beep stumbles, preambles, then finds a scintilla of adulthood. “So what I’m saying is yes. I’ll sign the divorce papers. At least that way one of us will be free.” You end the call, drop the phone onto the carpet a few inches from one of the moving sunlit squares, watch time engulf it with light.


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