Goodbye to the man that could have been I wish I had died in your place Your heart was so much fuller than mine Your smile came freely And your arms were strengthened by the conviction That your love was pure But you are gone And I am all that is left Not enough for myself Or anyone else So, goodbye to the man should have been
I was really looking forward to showing you how to write your name. How to turn ink into an inferno, a proud declaration of existence emblazoned on to a flag that you would stab into the mountain of life. I was excited to see you have all the confidence I could never muster in myself. I had hoped to nourish you enough that you would never fall apart at the thought of yourself. That I would be there after your first goodbye kiss to tell you from experience that it would be all right. But I am realizing now for the thousandth time that I am not the man I hoped I would be.
I do not sleep much. I have been laying in bed thinking about how we will never meet. I used to be crippled by emotions but now I am running on empty. Every three steps forward is followed by thirty leaps back. That even if I could pull you into existence I do not think I would ever do right by you. I always end up not doing right by people. Because I have never done right by myself.
Unless it was right to not subject you to all this by realizing I am never going to be a father.
Think in your minds eye the person or place you would most like to see when it all begins to recede. The universe stops expanding and starts a hasty retreat. The Sun swells with immense melancholic pride to face its approaching demise and its light bloodies the sky and drowns out our cries. As that silence sweeps over us with whom would you find the most peace?
Right now I could not think of a single person who would pick me. Any face that I can conjure would rather be with another and I could not fault a single one. So I think I would pick my dog and hope that she would do me the favor and stay at my side. I would wrap my arms around her and put my head into her shoulder so that I could not see in her eyes where she would rather be.
I often have to say out loud “Don’t hurt yourself.” in the middle of making a decision that will harm me in order to stop. It feels like I am walking in on someone else in my body. I am both invader and the invaded. I will be in control and out of it. I am present and yet after telling myself out loud to stop I am more present than I had been just before. Maybe I am the stranger in my body and the voice that says to stop isn’t mine.
I can not even say for sure if other people feel this way. My first thought is that this is not an unusual experience and that I am, in the drama of my mental state, making it more than it is. However I could very well be in flux. Constantly phasing between self-love and self-hatred. I can only speak to my own experience and even then barely.
I want to say that I am doing better and it not feel like I am lying.
I don’t hold things sacred often. But I drive by this tree everyday. Seeing it in the morning and in the evening used to be a point of shame for me. This tree is a five minute walk from my house. One year ago I walked out to this tree and I sat underneath it with my gun for several hours. I cried and screamed and was the closest I had ever been to commiting suicide. I had only loaded a single round into the magazine and when it felt like my head was splitting open I shot the gun into the ground and threw up. I voluntarily gave the gun to a close friend for until I’m healthier. Back then the grass was overgrown, there were pieces of rebar and the tree was bare from the cold weather. It’s now well kept as they are planning to sell the land. The last few weeks driving by this tree has been a comfort. It’s now a marker that I have had 365 victories in a row. I have been if only in this one aspect of my life successful. I don’t normally condone the marking of trees and stuff since they’re living but I made a small exception. This tree is sacred to me because I live. I don’t have a bright follow up message but I’m alive today and I’m thankful for that.