What a waste.
Thirty years.
Thinking. Dreading. Fearing.
Why?
What was the point?
What is the point?

Once again.
Starbucks.
Looking out at a university.
I was there, somewhere else, but there…
Half my lifetime ago.

Crazy.
The best of times. The worst of times.
Confined, self-restrained, jailed freedom.
On the cusp of life, while free-falling into an abyss.
An infinite abyss.
Just continual falling into a darkening, lightening hole.
Undulating.
Hopeless. Doubt. Despair. Blocking out. Screaming. Willing death to come.
Cracks of light.
An infinitesimal single proton. That narrowest wave.
Stops my death. Leaves me ravaged. Laid bare. Hollow. Naked. Broken.

No one sees the desperation.
Explanations explain nothing.
Freak. Loser.
All around people are living.
I am existing – just about.
A promise of death at 21.
Too afraid to live. Too weak to die.
An unpleasant end, my excuse.

Too many events and time spans passed.
Quickly accustomed to this not-life.
Minuscule happenings, building, pulling me out of hell, just a measure.
Life is not livable.
Life gives the illusion of progress, through the few baby steps.
Maybe I will make it to the top?
The illusion smiles.
It argues not.
It winks.

My friendly welcoming mind.
A scam. A cheat. A fraud.
His intermittent reveal…
Hauling my soul skyward, my eyes bulging.
Hurling me full-force downward, my body balling up, tensing, cringing.
Me feeling the wind from the concrete, about to smash, clothing grabbed, body yanked upwards.
This over and over.
Intermittently interlaced with enough life to stop me from ending it.
Just about.

Why can’t it be less or more?
Why can’t I make a choice?
Make one and execute it.
Die or live.
Evil laughing.
Cackling.
Reminding me that a mere fraction of this is a choice.
Why do people think it’s a choice?
That I would decide that this fucked up life was the way to go.

I’m pulled from my reminiscing by a cellphone user in Starbucks.
I look towards The University again.
Still there. Beautiful gates. Flag. Stately.
I am 41 still. Again.
I have aged, grown, matured since college.
To an extent.
That evil bastard is still breathing down my neck.
He tries to hold my hand.
To drag me down. I nearly always shake him off – but he is always there.
Restraining me. Thwarting me. Stealing my life.

I wouldn’t know what to do if he wasn’t there.
He knows me better than anyone.
That helps me fight, yet holds me back.
There are other problems now.
Not replacing. Adding.
“More strife please.”

I realize. Life is always going to be hard.
No one will ever understand me.
My life is not more important than anyone else’s.
I am not special.
I am a decent person.
I try.
I have it worse than others.
I have it better than others.
I don’t have a monopoly on pain.

I get to choose my outlook.
I get to choose many things.
I did not choose to have a special needs child.
I did not choose to watch them struggle day after day. Relationships. Comprehension. Self-regulation.
I did not choose that will likely not live independently. Especially after I die.
The rest of my life will be looking after my child, being alone, physical pain, mental anguish.
Then death.

My will to live has increased greatly.
No. My desire to be dead and to be the one to do it has waned.
A year or two ago, I wished I had done away with myself, with everything, twenty years ago.
I’m not sure now.
Life is shit enough that I should want to die.
Through a combination of therapy and medication, I just don’t feel it.
Mostly.
I hope my children will always be the force I need to stop myself.
At a point, they were not.
I couldn’t see outside the walls encircling my brain.
Now I can.

Some days I don’t try my best.
I quit.
I know I’m quitting just for that day.
It makes the next day more difficult.
I need it.
I will never live in a tidy house.
I will never get back to cooking seven meals each week.
I will not hover over my children every day during homework.
I will do all of these to an extent.
I will love them.
I will help them.
I will strengthen them.
I will show them they can do ‘it’.

I will continue to receive treatment from head doctors.
I will show my kids there is no shame in mental illness.
I will hide that I wanted to be dead when they were young.
When. Not because of…
Until they are older.
I will continue my shit life. Trying not to dwell on its fecal nature.
I will do what I feel able to do so I can be there for them.
A real or fake smile plastered on my face.
They will know the difference.
And yet… slow, blinking eyes. A growing but staid smile. Across a room. A crowded room.
Will show them my true intention.
I am tired. This life has been long.
But beyond any of that… I am glad I am here with you. I love you.

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