Author’s Note: this piece is very old, I wrote it in my early 20’s. I share it because, unless you are one of those highly lucky people who seem to be unable to fail at anything (and most of us aren’t), then chances are you’ve hit low points in your life where it seemed like you just wouldn’t be able to bounce back.
I hit one of those points in my early twenties, which is what spawned this writing. About twenty years later, I had gone through many ups and downs (life has not been kind to me, if we’re shooting straight, here) but I was worlds ahead of where I had been at the time of this poem.
Then, due to a sequence of unfortunate events and a handful of bad decisions, I had another time, just a few years ago, that eerily paralleled this work. It was even harder to endure, because it felt like I was going backwards.
I actually have a pretty relaxed attitude about suicide, I feel that it’s a person’s right to choose to remain in the world or to check out. I’ve hit such lows in my own life that I questioned, more times than I could count, whether it was worth it to keep trying.
I don’t fault anyone for checking out of Hotel Life, if you’re not having a good time, you know where the door is and you can bail, anytime you want. I don’t judge anyone for deciding that the pain was simply too much to bear.
But for those of us who keep trying, despite seemingly overwhelming odds against us, we need a lot of encouragement, sometimes constantly.
One way to encourage others is to share our troubles. Not to complain, not to be negative, just to let our guard down and let others inside of our own darkness, so they realize that they are not alone, that others suffer, too. To say, “I am not perfect and I sometimes feel like a complete failure“.
So, I share this very open, humbling, embarrassing, unflattering, slice of my own history with you. I don’t share it with you so that you will feel sorry for me. I share it so that you may draw some small measure of strength from it.
May this in someway help you to feel better about where you are and how things are for you, now. And if things are not good for you now, then may it remind you that you are not alone. Keep your chin up and keep swinging.
Woke up to women (in a wearisome way) tramping about and talking very loudly, in the fashion that insecure people adopt, because they feel that they are never truly being heard
Woke up to a Monday morning, drenched in usualness
To catch glimpses of the demons that had been hovering above my bed while I slept
Got dressed in a stunning cigarette; feels good to be dressed in black
Woke up to get a drink of sulphur water from the tap
To the day before All Hallow’s Eve
Woke up from dreams of the living, to confront the dead
Woke up to many miles, dancing beneath my feet, yearning to be travelled
To a thick, invisible chain around my leg (it’s as long as the State of North Carolina and never gets tangled up in anything, unless I try to cross the state line)
Woke up to probation officers and community service and possible prisons
Woke up to realize that hang-overs have an upside: they keep you from thinking straight; too bad I don’t have one; I guess I should have drank more
Woke up to dig dirt from under my fingernails (can’t figure out where it came from, since I haven’t worked in over a year)
Woke up to realize that I have not worked in over a yearWoke up to remember that I am inconveniencing my friends, surfing couches
Woke up to a burning clutch in a crap car and thought “Well, at least I didn’t put any gas in the fucking thing”
Woke up to remember I didn’t have any gas money, anyway
Woke up to eat a bad meal and cover the taste with another cigarette
Woke up to fall back into the depression that I thought I had shirked
To begin to believe there is nothing that can be done for me, except a miracle
Woke up to re-live painful bits of mental collage, that may or may not be actual memory
Woke up to remember that my memory is not that reliable
Woke up to smoke too much and sulk like a little boy
Woke up to know pain, in the biblical sense, on the receiving end
Woke up to acknowledge that I am pessimistic and I have become undesirable, for that reason
Woke up to wonder why I woke up at all, since I was sure that I would fail, even that this, this most trivial of details
Woke up to put away all the psycho babble, self help nonsense, and to deal with deal with the cold, hard truth: that it really is going to take a miracle to save me
Woke up to realize that somehow, I still believe in miracles
(Kevin Trent Boswell)
Take a look at my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/magus72
I’ll be cross-posting here, what I publicly post, over there. Patrons-only content will be available, over there.