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There’s an echo in my mind that keeps crashing into my brain, bouncing off the walls of mind and memory. It’s eerily similar to those fists I remember as a young boy crashing into the heads of so many helpless people in the room. There was nothing you could do about except duck and roll. As loud as the screams got, as painful as the cries for help became, as much as the blood spilled on the floors and splattered on the wall there was nothing you could do to stop it. I wish I could say it happened only once, maybe twice but I would be me lying to myself, it happened with all too much regularity. And in a way we got used to it and later in life even sought after it.
It came out of a a dream or so I thought. It wasn’t real, I mean real in the sense of really happening, at least I didn’t think so, but these days that happens to me more than I like. Sometimes I don’t know what’s real and whats not especially when I wake up with it stuck in my mind. It comes with the territory I suppose, the territory I have carved out for myself. It was that song I woke up with I just couldn’t shake it all day, an old Alan Parsons Project song from when I was a kid, ‘Games People Play’. The lyrics;
“Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up
And how do we spend our lives if there’s no-one to lend us a hand”
“I don’t want to live here no more,
I don’t want to stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life,
Quietly fading away”
It made me think of my folks.
The echo gets louder, stuck in my head and reverberating again and again, the more I try to ignore it the more intense it becomes. With it the gap between my reality and my sanity grows wider. It’s like a monkey on your back that won’t go away poking out it’s freakish little head just when you thought it was gone. The painful things we try so hard to forget sometimes stay with us crawling up up into our psyche like little thieves stealing what little peace we have managed to find. They burrow into the recesses of our mind and eventually into our souls constantly reminding us that we’re fucked and they’ll never let is forget.
I think of my father who I came home to help, who I didn’t want to be left alone in his dementia and helpless years. The same man who if I were to be honest never helped me or my family. My little brother described him in one word “brutal”. What a fucking word to use to describe a person, any person. But that he was physically and emotionally. I think of my mother who I was never really sure how to see in my mind but as my little brother again so eloquently puts it “she did what she wanted to do, not what she could have done.” “Not what she could have done”, I never looked at it like that. He’s the one who is supposed to be crazy? The paranoid schizophrenic. Seems to me he is the one with the most sense and realistic memory of how it was. My sister, she ran away from it and rightly so, blocking it out of her mind, doing her best to surround it with a white picket fence, BBQ in the back yard and flowers on the dinner table. Some try to laugh their pain away. But I’ve learned that those who laugh the loudest are the saddest souls of all. Me, I try to ignore it but it never goes away. I try to make it seems like it never happened, to some degree successfully because try hard enough and our minds rewrite relationships. It rewrites them out of survival, until they’re just alright enough to let us get by. But you can’t change what’s happened. Still, it’s the echo that kills me, slowly but surely.
I guess that’s why I try to do it different with my daughter. It has been far from perfect but much better than I thought it would be. I hope to give her direction instead of demand or worse yet ignore. I do my best to keep it real. Yeah she knows I’m a real shit show sometimes but at least I’m an original. Any advice I have to offer is from experience. That doesn’t necessarily make it worth a goddamn thing but she knows at least I’ve lived what I try to impart on her. Yeah, she’s the best thing that came out of this crazy life.
I like to think I’ve got it all together but the truth is I probably got it together only enough not to lose my fuckin’ cookies. I mean some say I was never wrapped too tight to begin with but who is? Especially when they walk the path I’ve chosen in life. I suppose there’s a lot to be said for home, family, safety and security, knowing where you you’re going at the end of everyday, knowing what awaits you and who will be there waiting for you. I’m not gonna lie, it seems boring as shit if you ask me. I mean I never aspired to walk a normal path and never searched for a normal life. I don’t know if I ever really had one and would imagine by most people standards probably haven’t. I’ve never tried things normally, whatever that is, so I probably wouldn’t know what normal was if it kicked me in the ass. But at the end of the day boring or not at least you know what’s going to happen and who is going to be there when it does.
I’ve been stuck in this place in my mind since I came home last June. I’m sure I’m not here to stay, no I have a life elsewhere, whatever that life is I still need it and still want it. I have no idea where it will take me or where it will end up but I’ve come farther than many, myself included ever imagined I would make it so I suppose the rest doesn’t matter. I’ll just let it unfold as it will. I hate forcing life to happen and it’s already too short to rush through it. So for now, I’m here to take care of business I know that if I did not no one else would. Someone close to me once said “your father didn’t have to be a good father for you to be a good son, your mother able to care for your to care for her”. There’s is a whole lot of truth to that. I don’t what’s next but whatever it is I’m ready for it.
One things for sure, the past hates trespassers.