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Life is Funny

By , Franklin, WI
My life is divided into two parts: before It happened, and after It happened. I don’t really like to dwell on the Pre-It phase, but for your benefit, I will. The pre-It phase started out decent enough: playing baseball with the other boys, laughing at fart jokes, fishing. I was a happy well adjusted little guy and I liked it that way. Unfortunately, that happy childhood met its demise at the hands of puberty. I guess you could say it was a combination of low self esteem brought on by gawkiness, and lack of drive that led to the slip in my lethargic lifestyle. I seemed to have lost my ability to relate to people and as re-runs of Seinfeld began to replace social interaction, I dug myself into a little hole of introversion. While my small handful of friends kept me from being a complete shoe gazer, I always felt inadequate compared to my athletic and cooler counterparts.

That little inadequate shadow followed me wherever I went, even after high school and into college. Fifteen years after graduation and really nothing had changed, if lives could have colors, mine would be beige. Not even a pretty beige, but an ugly puce beige. Nothing about my life was going the way that I wanted it too, and what was worse was that I didn’t even care. Years of self-reinforced apathy had made completely oblivious as to how unhappy I actually was. But all was not lost, for my brain knew my life was out of whack before I even did. Somewhere deep inside that thick headed skull of mine something was shifting. Something positive.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon the day it happened. Everyone, I mean everyone, was outside, you had your middle aged jogging fanatics, your cute elderly couples, small children playing tag, it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting. I don’t really know what it was, maybe the sunshine or the good vibes coming all the happy folk around me, but I was experiencing feelings I hadn’t felt since those bug-catching, baseball playing elementary days. I was feeling… spontaneous. And while I was thinking all these happy-go-lucky thoughts what did I happen to see? None other than the ice cream truck in all of its sweet, candy colored glory. “Yes.” I thought, “This is perfect.” So in a rare spur-of the moment decision I stood up from the park bench I was sitting on and began to make my way across the grass to the man in the little truck. Unfortunately, I was about three feet away from getting my overpriced SpongeBob pop when I was rudely interrupted by a speeding Escalade. It hit me like… well, how a generous SUV would hit someone going forty-five miles per hour. Boom. Life over. All because I wanted some stupid ice cream.

A simple funeral followed my demise, or at least that’s what I gathered when I realized I was in a coffin six or so feet underground. If I was still alive I probably would have peed my pants I was so scared. Eventually after fifteen or so minute meltdown, I came to my senses and tried to formulate some sort of epic escape plan. Problem is, I had very little background knowledge on grave escaping. The only time where I have ever seen someone do that was in the kung fu movie Kill Bill, in which Uma Thurman, the protagonist, punches her way out of premature by pure focus and repetitive punching. A tad bit unbelievable? Perhaps, but I didn’t have much else to go on. I was no Uma Thurman. My pathetic punching quickly turned into a sulky tantrum that would rival that of a four year old. But all was not lost! My spazzing had actually loosened the lid by quite a lot. I was able to move the lid enough to squeeze out a bit and out into dark dirt filled world of the cemetery. The dirt would have crushed and suffocated any normal person but had practically no effect on me. Well, I was still crushed and it smelled kind of bad, but you can’t be too picky in strange predicaments.
Literally crawling your way back into the world of the living takes a lot out of a lazy person and being dead didn’t help my already pitiful stamina. A few hours of digging and about five mouthfuls of dirt later, I had broken through to the surface. I had never had been so excited to see the sky in my entire existence. It was a beautiful night, full of stars and those warm summer smells like barbeque and laundry detergent. I felt the same good vibes I did that sunny afternoon, except this time there was no speeding escalades or beckoning ice cream trucks to screw everything up. I plopped my musty, exhausted self down right there in the cemetery on top my gravesite. As I drifted off to sleep I realized that for the first time in a long while, I had hope for something. I didn’t just feel okay but actually…good. Little bubbles of hope were fizzing inside of me like an un-opened soda. By some bizarre twist of fate, ME of all people, was given a second chance to make it better, a chance I will try my best to not screw up. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself a little at my cheesy epiphany. Who would have thought that I would have to die to learn how to live.





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