Staring abject failure in the mirror is a sobering realization. Perhaps the most adamant realization of them all. The sum total of the decades of midnight moons past. Shattered visions of hope scattered like shards of glass among a meandering trail of disappointed ash. The virtue of opportunity drained of it’s promise. There is no form of loneliness that exceeds the solitary confinement of human indifference. He stared intently at the faded ink on the biblical parchment before he laid it to rest. A life that included a morose carnival of faces that have come, and gone, each one a minor disappointment. All of them combining to form a tapestry of benign human neglect and selfish intention. There have been many hands on many keys, belonging to many locks, that have come to equal many refusals. He stood outside the fishbowl, straining for a glimpse inside. Precarious movements of warped figures living any number of acceptable lives, that have all escaped his providence. His was a life that had not been spared any suffering. His moments of joy, few and far between, always tempered with existential worry. A commonplace feature of his being. Suffering virtually from the moment of his birth, the first son of a profoundly inexperienced, and negligent mother, incapable of the effusive affection afforded most children.
He had made many mistakes to be certain. Committed many acts of moral question, a heart bursting with the best of intentions. He has paid for each and every one of them, and usually with a psychic vigor wrapped in a vitriol, that brought him to his knees time and again. Forgiveness is something that is rarely afforded. In many ways, he thought, living with failure in the 1st world is more severe than the ignorant suffering of those in the 3rd. There is a dignity in being a part of a society where abject poverty is universal. Hunger and physical suffering can be tempered with time and experience. The emotional torment of the educated man, losing in a capitalist society, can know no end. Exposing startling depths of despair. The assessment of the hand he’d been dealt, was a reality of dire proportions. Wrong race, wrong place. Talent ignored, and never truly matured. Never good enough for any woman, for any number of reasons, having endured them all. He is a man who no woman has ever fancied to stand by. Ever. A punitive irony for a soul of good nature. What’s a woman’s love worth? He wouldn’t know for sure, but it’s more than he has ever known.
He tried for many years to ignore what he knew in his heart was the truth. He was different, and not the special kind. The leprosy kind. A troubling reality kept nagging at his soul, tumbling through his mind with no sense of center. The God he prayed to didn’t seem to be responding. His guilt about praying for God’s help grew stronger each passing day as he learned about the hardship and misery of other human beings on this earth. They would likely kill to have his problems. He wondered if that rendered his problems any less significant? What he knew for certain was that the pain was legitimate. The loneliness visceral. Breathing labored. Thoughts of ending his life by his own hand circling through his mind towards the drain, but always stopping short of a selfishness, and hurt of which he was not capable of delivering. There was nobody who loved him where he stood, but many people to hurt if he fell. His soul pinned down in a straight jacket, his mind contemplating actions he hadn’t the courage to enact.
It’s a strange place to find himself, he thought. Nowhere to go, and nobody waiting for him when he got there. Freedom laced with the cyanide of incarceration.