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Digging in, to die. Reversing the spin of misplaced orbit, interrupting the cynical cycles of restless yearning. A pause is eternity, is permanent; irreversible and unknown. The death of a story--no less yet so much more. The death of me. The roots rooted down in well-watered soil, fertilized with love and belief and fear. I shake at the edge, knowing full well that a single step further will obliterate the illusion of ground beneath my feet. Solidity in chemical transition, a change of state, solid, liquid, gas...and then? And then...

White like the page in your hands like the skin on my bones like the bones in my body like the grey blanket in the sky. When forward and back are One, where will I go? How will I know, what will I do who will I be? Is freedom enjoyable if Love and Hatred are the same thing? Is this pain so paralyzing that I must opt-out early? Do I regret my choice to follow the unweaving of my tapestry, the demolition of my walls?

Questions irrelevant. The first step may as well be the last. And the first was never choice. The first was directed for me like everything else. Chosen, given, thrust-upon. Take your pick, make your choice make your move. Acceptance? Regrettably Inevitable.

I loathe the confusion of the all, but only slightly compared to the vitriol I harbor toward my own ignorance. My own self: The imperfect being striving to be perfect that lives in my skull and plans the parades of never in a future that will all too quickly evaporate.

Or eviscerate.

Or enliven.

A mountain to climb as I sip from a seated position. A summit obscured, the pinnacle of mind perhaps nonexistent, but climb I must. To turn to defy. Defy what? I don't know. But sure as the breeze blowing a bit too cold in my now. now. now; the orders are in place, the battles are pre-planned and my attendance is non-negotiable. I want it.

I want to show up, with a spear or a notebook or a smile.

But....but, but but but but but but but but butbutbutbutbutbutbutbutbut,

Yesterday. Well, not yesterday, but the day before, and the years of before that hold me in their loving palms, that cup and cradle me and whisper that maybe, maybe, life will freeze or better, rewind, and the pizza parties and Christmas trees and mountain sunsets will blossom in a single flowering moment and the beer will be rebottled and the pills puked up and the nights spent not loving naked bodies will be atoned for in the fiery and fantastic return to my innocence. My grandparents will stop dying, my parents too, and if the Lord has true compassion I can be ten and my brother can be seven and they can be the adults and we can be kids and we'll all sit by the campfire under the polkadot pinhole blanket of night sky and tell our stories without the provocation of the world's contradictions.

And I want my fucking dog back. I've never had a truer friend.If only my early stories were horror. If only...If only letting go were the easy choice. If only there was nothing worth holding--A hot ember, an alcoholic, a desolate orphanage, a frothing wolf who refuses to go for walks. A tax-evader, a murderer, a compulsive gambler, a heroin addict making my lunch. These I could release with a snarl and justice served and...and a hug. These I could turn my back on and march forward into the fresh life that awaits all with courage.

But what the FUCK do I do with Love, with the best parents a kid could hope to have, to two people who instilled all the virtues and did their damnedest to shield me from the Vices and give with the whole of their being to my endeavors they neither value nor understand? How do I release THAT? How do I explain that it must be released, that it must be given up, that no matter how strong their values, no matter how fortifying their love, that it too, all of it, must also fold beneath the weight of Truth?

Can I bargain with time? It is my own illusion, after all. Surely, surely....there must be a control switch somewhere. Let me look a little longer please please I pray just don't stop the games, don't pull me into the ethereal absorption. Not yet. Not now. There's still hope for a happy story, a pleasant illusion, a construct ala roadmap aka a better defense-mechanism.

I'll do better, I promise I'll do better I have to do better I'll be a good boy and do the right thing and get the right job and I'll never smoke another cigarette just please don't let the grim reaper come anymore, make it stop let me stop let me go back to where I was before!

The sweet-sickly smell of cigarettes calls to me over the din of crisp river air thoughts and nostalgic desperation. Something real urges and lurches me from revery, brings me back to where I already am, sitting here beneath a bleak sky, inhaling second hand smoke, very much alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. An echo chamber of solitude accented by the overripe of my insanity. It's time to pick this aged plum.

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