To Kill a Changed Man | TeenInk

To Kill a Changed Man

May 15, 2015
By Shadowboxer SILVER, Charlotte, Vermont
Shadowboxer SILVER, Charlotte, Vermont
7 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what you feel in you heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Well, I’m sure you’re expecting me to say something rather significant right about now. Something filled with sorrow, or fury, or perhaps the dull wit you’ve known me for.  However, let me tell you that what I have to say is not going to change anything, as that is not the nature of something as seemingly capricious as this.  So do not get excited, spiteful, or empathetically tearful.  I will merely tell you of the tenuous stretch between the life and death of a man; the hope and despair of someone that got lost along the way of something quite easy to follow.
      Yet I will not be brief or ambiguous, for that matter.  I will tell the truth and will tell it with utter tranquility.  You see, I have simply grown rather …disappointed – I suppose –  in the world and in myself.  The dream that once fueled me has left; the excitement that once charged my bones has died.  My image of seeing the world as a changed place has been distorted by the papers at my doorsteps, the flashing images on screens, and the constant shriek of warning involving those nasty headaches I get in the spring.  The chain of doubts that challenged my value of existence have grown large and have won me over – miraculously enough – after being fed with confidence to the point of bloat.  I once hoped they would drown, but instead, they started to float.
      Of course none of this was any of your faults.  You did not do anything to harm me, as you know.  However, my last thought of you is that it is what you simply did not do that led the flickering inside of me to form a stutter and the odd glare cast over my life to become an omnipresent shadow.  Because as you stood by and patted me on the shoulder and listened to my clanging chords of confession, I was not being saved from the tumultuous river sweeping me along its path.  What you failed to realize is that the river likes nothing more than an audience, and that is what you gave it, quite generously indeed.  But it is not your fault I ended up freezing.  It is not your fault that I couldn’t tell there was a drop-off point at the end of the stream.  And I surely do not wish that someone had told me that there was; I merely wanted someone to save me from it.
     You see, I was already wishing for a change without having a recognition of it.  Little did I know at the time, this is what made the river turn at its devastatingly strategic rate: fast enough to keep me choking but slow enough for me to just barely get enough air to breathe.  
       Oh – I’m sorry – you must not understand.  Let me rephrase.  I wish that someone had told me that it is better to be drowning than it is to think you are breathing, only then to be thrown off the ledge at the end of the accumulating current.  To be simpler, I wish someone had told me that dying is better than living without the knowledge of change – without the knowledge of the cliff.
    But who would tell me this?  It is a very immorally abstract thought to tell someone like me.  I live in the country of the gifted; no one would ever dare to think about something like that here.  Too dark when you live with a screen broadcasting a tainted version of the Sun through your window.  Too odd and…out of place.  So since we were “all” so deftly fortunate not to have to worry about being burned, no one ever even imagined that life really was torture to those who had the mind to see the real Sun in the sky.
      I was surrounded by survivors who lived without thinking – without knowing – of everything and anything that pains the human soul at the point of suffering and defeat.  Why?  Because there was no point of defeat for them.  The images of awareness in my head and the omnipresent technicalities of never forgetting the nightmares: these were not human things to experience. So since my mouth and mind were human, I could never say anything or do anything to save myself.
    Henceforth began the pitiful process of calling to have someone else save me from the drop-off point I knew was there.  Someone in the audience, maybe?  Save me, save me, I said.  But the ears were not there to listen.  I was angry then. You stand to watch, but you never really see.  And you never did see what the man drowning in the river was trying to tell you.  You never even cared enough to find out.
     Maybe I wish someone had told me about these too: the words that are never heard.  The messages that get sent but never received, the letters that get sealed but never opened again.  I wish someone had told me that it is better for words to go unspoken than for them to have silence echo after them for all of eternity.
     Yet enough of this wishful thinking.  The change that I had hoped to inflict on the world has never come to be. The dream that I once held dear has simply sizzled out upon my fingertips.  The beautiful things I hoped to do will remain undone – the future left for another.  But in this last moment, through my last mark on your minds, I only wish that someone – maybe you – will listen to me now.  Because instead of changing the world, the world has chosen to change me, and so in turn, I let it.
     And my only thought now – in this final movement of tipping over the edge of life– is that I wish someone had told me that unrecognized change is the only true thing that can kill a man.

The author's comments:

Find the truth within yourself, 

See the pain concealed in someone else

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