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.
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 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
Move it along buddy.
~ ~ ~
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