The Struggle

The Struggle

I allow my eyes to zone in on the frenzied scratches imbedded in the bathroom door. The cheap white pine sighs with pity as it gazes intently on me- watching as I anxiously sit with my head in between my knees, waiting. Like a Roman legionnaire preparing for a great battle, I prepare for the inevitable release of Dante’s inferno- seeking to penetrate this measly pine fortress with a catapult of fire balls.  Television volume blaring, I can faintly make out Eric Cartman’s mocking tone of voice: “how ‘bout we sing Kyle’s mom is a stupid bitch in D minor”? I wonder how many years He’s been watching South Park- He idolizes that fat bastard Cartman, probably because he’s evil himself. Dammit, I wish I had ESPN. No wait, ESP, that’s what they call it, isn’t it? Maybe I should just try praying. Pray for that reassuring sound of heavy breathing after Kenny dies, and the show ends. But shit, the last time I tried to that, I was sent a concussion and a broken arm in return…so maybe praying isn’t such a great idea. God, or whoever or whatever it is all those religious zealots pray to, clearly has no interest in my problems. He has bigger things to worry about I guess. I feel them coming, so I quickly squeeze my eyes shut to halt the impending Niagara Falls imitation. That bastard is never going to get a single tear drop outta me. This isn’t All My Children– I will not cry. Wheezing whiskey breath echoes menacingly on the other side of the paint chipped gateway. Fixating glazed eyes on the linoleum floor as I draw my legs in close, I silently pray for the power to part the floor, just like how Moses parted the Red Sea for the Israelites. A few moments go by- I concur the prayer was in fact only a wish, and that wish was nothing but that- a wish. I would’ve done better by dropping a damn penny down a well- where’s Honest Abe at now? Screw it, I’m done for anyway, to hell with all this wistful wishing and praying bullshit. After all, one can only wear a poker face for so long until you have to throw down- only to discover that you were drawing dead all along. Where is Wild Bill Hickok and his dead man’s hand when you need him? If only I’d never taken that first hit. Parents would’ve kept me, rather than turning me away into those cold dark streets. They have no idea what it’s like out there. I wonder what they’d say if they saw me now? Realizing there is no hope left for my worthless ass, I toss my hair over my shoulder and pull my legs in closer, rollicking back in forth in the fetal position. I’m five again. Mommy and Daddy are grinning, taking polaroids as I tear open myriad of gifts Christmas Morning. Santa used to be good to me back then. I didn’t start getting coal until I was about ten, around the time I met He, aka, Ben.

I have no option other than to patiently await fate, hoping it’s all a dream and I’m in a fictional Tim Burton inspired nightmare. Father time isn’t on my side anymore. Run and run all you want Floyd to catch up with the sun, but as the Romans always said, tempus fuiguit. I’m a waste of that hour glass sand. Scanning the room looking for a quick solution, I catch sight of the rusty BIC sitting encouragingly on the edge of the bathtub ring. Swinging back the soap scummed shower curtain to seize the jagged blade, I catch Nemo’s twinkling eyes, egging me on. I allow one crimson drop after another to fall slowly onto bruised knees, until the sea is rollicking at my feet. Where is Moses to part the Red Sea now? The deep cuts mirror one another aside the track marks that run along my veins like railroad tracks. But with these there’s no going back. The train left the station long ago. The West didn’t want me I guess.

Where does one turn when one has no-one to turn to? Riddle me that Mr. Politician, sitting behind your mahogany desk- riddle me that. I hear His ferocious rants as he pounds the flimsy wooden threshold over and over. He’s pissed off now. Flashbacks from my childhood whip me back and forth as I cover my ears and try to imagine the warmth of my teddy bear, Hector the Protector. Hector was the one friend I had as a kid- that is, until the day He decided I was too old to have a stuffed bear, and burned him, while I sat screaming through a gag, prisoner to The Bad Girl Chair. I wait in terror as the scratch marks splinter into a hundred shards, revealing those familiar shiny black work boots. My stomach drops into the bottomless pit that has become my soul. There is no escaping this fate. Eric Cartman cackles in the background as shards rain down on me like a volcanic eruption. But unfortunately I’m not in Pompeii- if only I could go that easy, hell I’d take lava over this any day. Temporarily blinded as He emerges from the darkness to drag this helpless, soulless mass down through Dante’s damned levels, to join Cain and Brutus for eternity. I am his now.

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