Little Remains of the Man I Once Was

April 7, 2012
Nightmares echo through the chambers of my lonely mind.
Gunshot. Figures falling lifelessly to the ground.
Slow, painful tears of blood escape my eyes. I cannot cry. I cannot.
I can feel my latent body twisting and turning, entangled in sheets.
Tumultuous nightmares that have no end.
A deafening reverberation sounds throughout the bare, bitter house.
They should know that I’ve been screening calls for years.
Tone sounds. No message to follow.
At least, no message that I hear.
The sun blatantly lasers into my room. My eyes squint in hopes to block it out.
A, now natural, reaction to block anything out that can bring me back.
A bird chirps antithetical to my outlook.
I begin my slow relentless walk to my cramped, desperate attempt of a kitchen.
Blurry snapshots wrinkle through my mind.
They hold shadows of people I once knew.
They hold the voices that I will never hear again.
They hold the hearts that took their final breath so many years ago.
My concentration jolts to an earsplitting buzz.
It penetrates through the wall I’ve built up each day to anything outside of the world I live in.
My heart beats faster. My eyes focus. Adrenaline runs through my body. My breathing quickens.
My hand reaches for the gun that once lay at my side.
Somewhere in the back of my mind a racing silent movie plays.
Suddenly I’m back.
I smell the old, muddied blood seeping into the soiled dirt.
I feel the shadows of the thunder clouds above me, threatening and distressed.
I hear the shouts of my men, the explosion of guns, the cries of Henry sprawled across the ground.


I can feel my heart drop to the bottom of my stomach as I lower myself the ground.
Unrecognizable. Heart wrenching.
My stomach heaves in time with my sobs.
Hands grab my arms and pull. My feet are left dragging on the ground.
A trail of tears that Henry will not follow. That no one will follow.
All of a sudden, my head is spinning.
Images swirling in a dizzying whirl.
There is a crash as I feel my head smack the ground.

Sitting in the chair, I fumble with my watch.
She’s asking me to tell a story from before.
I tell her about the summer my mother took my brother and I to Coney Island.
She drones on and asks me to tell a story from after.
I tell her no. I can’t.
I tell her that I don’t know what she is talking about.
With hesitance, she asks me to tell a story from during.
I tell her no. I can’t.
She tries to explain the word “desensitization” to me again.
I tell her no.
Pulsating starts behind my temples and works its way through my head.
All the pounding of a bass drum is inside my little head now.
I really can’t.

My feet take me down a street that holds no interest for my eyes.
I can hear the men in the Bar welcoming me to come in.
My feet continue.
Drinks stopped working years ago.
My eyes adjust to the dim light of dusk.
I pass a man sleeping by a dumpster.
I envy him.
He still has a chance at a future.
I am nothing but the old broken remains of the man I once was.
My heart begins to burn with fury.
I can feel the familiar sizzling in my middle.
I am nothing. I can do nothing about it. I have nothing. There is nothing that will ever. ever. help.
No matter what I do. Who I see. No one can help me.
I’ve stopped letting them try.

My attention falls to a soft tear rolling gracefully down the planes of my face. Falling off the edge.
How delicate the little teardrop is.
How easy to destroy.
How simple it is to take away all of its beauty by a single swipe.
How easy to make fun.
How easy to pretend it doesn’t exist.
The little teardrop feels so familiar. But I can’t place how.

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