30 Years

By Tom Foster






            I screwed up.  I’ve been over this so many times in my head, wondering what I could have done, what I could have said, and what I could have tried to make her believe, to make them all believe, and I’ve come up with nothing.  It wasn’t enough to do what could be done or say anything that came to mind, no one believed, and all those previous times seem to have been for nothing.  It’s like having an itch for three decades that you can’t scratch, but once you do you can’t stop until it’s red, raw, and bleeding.  Sometimes the pleasure isn’t really worth the pain that comes after.

            This isn’t the first time I’ve been through this, that’s the worst part. People always think I’m crazy when I tell them this part, and I can’t blame them.  After all who would really believe the kind of story I’ve been living now for probably three or four different renditions?  It’s the same thing each time, the same problems I’m presented with no matter how much I change it around, no matter what I do or say. I’ve tried to change things, both for the better and the worse, but it always seems to snap back to this moment, the moment I first open my eyes, and feel realization flooding in.

            I screwed up.

            At that point I can’t tell anyone.  If I did the next instant might be filled with the floor rushing up at me and a pain in my skull that lasted only a short while before I had to go through it all again.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Shit, live in my life as it is now and you might find yourself rooting through your medicine cabinet for the pills most likely to knock your ass out without remembering what you’ve just learned. The mind has a way of keeping itself from going crazy right?  Sure, and if you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you, as the saying goes.

            If you’re reading this it means that I’m on my way out again, and damned if I don’t fully believe I’ll wake up to the blurry, fuzzed out vision I’ve become accustomed to at the beginning, and the squalling that I soon enough realize is my own.  It’s a do-over see?  A chance to either make things better or make them worse depending on what I do and how I act, but here’s the problem.

            As much as I remember what happened before I check out, I simply don’t understand what it is I’m supposed to be doing, or why.  Ever have someone give you a vague problem and say “fix it”? That’s my dilemma, I know something’s broke but I don’t know what and don’t know how to get the job done. So I keep going, doing what I can to just get through, and then bam, there I am again at the beginning.  It’s confusing isn’t it? You’re probably scratching your head and getting ready to put this damned book down before proclaiming me to be a kook, and I don’t blame you.  But really, just keep reading and it might make sense. No promises though.

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