` Below the Fold

Easy Targets

Moving in a reverse trajectory. Walking right through the firing lines, past all those falling versions of yourself. Down through the years. A wind kicked up by some passing thought, or maybe an old tune picked up from a passing car... throwing you off, setting off a chain reaction.. a page flipping frenzy through the family album.. the time of your life.

Back to that one moment when you made the wrong decision. The one that led to every other decision you've made since -- not wrong in themselves but tainted by their origin.

That 'coulda been somebody' lament. Living on the other side of the curtain. In the limelight.. the good life. In with the in crowd. Plenty of back slapping and nicknames to go around. Down at the club-house, all those velvet ropes opening at your arrival.

Who knows.

Maybe you could've even pulled off that version of happiness they keep hawking down at the mall.. the ol' wife and kids routine. Happy Sundays in the SUV. Polo shirts on casual Fridays... rushing home for dinner and the monthly PTA meeting. Quoting those self-help books and scanning best-seller lists... knowing the department store manager's first name. Hey Phil, need some new ties, you know my colors... and these shoes could sure use a good shine... is Eddie manning the station today?...

Why not?

Why did those shoes never fit? Just couldn't fill them, no matter how you tried. Slipping into your boots and being led astray. Across the tracks, through the woods, past the bullet-ridden VW parked on the side of the dirt road. Rusted over -- but not the memory held within...as shiny and scary as it was the first time you heard it.

Poor guy just didn't want to wake his folks, coming home late, figured he'd just park on the side of the road and get some rest. No big deal. Slip in during the morning rush -- pancakes and eggs and mom's smile on the other side of the screen door.. on the other side of night. Did you hear the car pull up next to you? Were you asleep? Were you afraid it was a cop?... was that why you stayed hidden. No, it wasn't a cop, just some teenagers out on a joyride, figured an old VW would make for good target practice. Anybody stupid enough to abandon their car on the side of the road deserves to get some holes in it. Emptying those chambers and skidding away, rushing off on their journey of stupid teenage kicks. No harm done. Headlines waking us all that next morning. High School senior killed while sleeping in his car. The screen door slamming shut on a future. A mom's tears rushing up to greet the new morning.

That album falling from your fingers. The song slipping away. Finding yourself safely within your skin, in this year you always wondered if you'd see. Catching your reflection in the pool of water gathered at the alley's opening. The wind dying down. Face to face with who you've become.

Move it along buddy.

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Unless otherwise noted, all Folded Thoughts were written by me,
aka The Daily Editor, aka The Man Below the Fold.

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