My Visit

Last night, the Menace visited me. Tara was asleep. The television’s volume was low. I was not trying to sleep, not trying to stay awake. I just lay there, on the bed, thinking: this is my birthday. My 38th birthday! I made it another year. I was thinking about the past year, WHERE I was a year ago, as to where I am at now when it spoke.

Why books?

That is what it likes to do: taunt me. It taunts me by questioning my likes. My dislikes. – Everything.

Turning from one side to another. Trying not to wake Tara up, trying to move around her sleeping body, and I still hear its voice. Still try to shut it out.

Nobody cares what YOU know! They care about what they can get. And that is all. And they can’t get ANYTHING from you. You have nothing that is wanted. Throw in the cards, old sport. Give up before you get TOO old to retreat You are getting TOO old.

38 IS a big deal to me. 39 will be a big deal to me. 40 will be a sweet, maltose-miracle – the big FOUR OH!

Who would have ever imagined I would make it THIS long. 40 will be miraculous. The beginning of the best years of my life.

I’ll still be here when you are 40. You will never get rid of me.

It is standing in the corner of the hotel room. I do not bother to look at it. I know where it is. I know what it looks like. Know what it SMELLS like. Like meat rotting in a puddle of putrid water. Rank & damp-smelling, it is. No reason to open my eyes; no reason to argue with it. There is no point. It wants my attention, that is all. That is one of the reasons it smells so damned bad: to get my attention.

That is all it ever wanted: attention from me. And influencing me.

I’ll be with you till you are dead.

I hear it breathing. I’m not afraid. Haven’t been afraid of it for years. And it is right. I know it is. It will NEVER go away. When I do listen, when I do BELIEVE its truths & lies, you might as well put me in a can & bury me with the dogs & cats & aunts & grandparents.

When I listen – when I believe it – all manner of DRIVE is drained & tapped out of me. My arms won’t lift, legs move like two dangling spaghetti noodles, waving their ways from the fork of life.

Stop trying to be poetic!

It hates attempts – AT ANYTHING! More & more, especially as I get older, it tries to be louder. As I get older, I hear less.

It is standing there, in the corner of the hotel room in Asheville, NC. It will be waiting for me back in Taylorsville. I know it’s there. I know it will always be there.

And I’m fine with that.

It HATES that I am so fine with that.

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