The birth of a child, I’ve always been told it was a joyous occasion. In my youth I would’ve believed that to be so. That naïve notion would die with time.
Upon entrance to this world I was called a bundle of joy. Today I feel as if I’m merely a burden. “I’m proud of the man you’re becoming” Despite being said to me by those claiming to love me most, I know these words to be nothing but lies.
Some would tell me to believe it’s just tempers flaring. I however, sense much more. My siblings and I enter. With her face being the stage a scowl takes the center, too disgusted with the crowd to even wave. I can feel her disdain seep into the deepest crevices of my heart. Bundle of misery seems to describe me more accurately.
She begins to speak; my name takes its usual place right beside the word useless. Someone should’ve told me existing was a crime. Even though I am told it was planned, I know for sure my conception was a whim of ****. Bundle of joy, no, just a mistake.
Many have pondered life and what its purpose is. I, however, have spent more time pondering what life would be like were I not in it. Pondering purpose has never done much for me considering I am nothing more than a failure. What purpose could there be for someone like me?
I aspire to better the entire world, yet I can’t even help those closest to me. I could never meet them, so expectations are the bane of my existence. Constantly falling short, my presence is nothing but a disappointment. No matter my efforts, failure is destined.
The hand of guilt rests eternally on my shoulder. Guilt for not being able to bring happiness to the ones I love. Guilt self-directed for not being all I once dreamt of being. Guilt for being a waste of time to everyone I’ve met.
Why should someone such as myself search for purpose? Such an inquiry would only lead to further suffering. It is time I accept the truth, that truth being that I am obsolete.
Where is the cheerful spirit I once held? What happened to the glow in my eyes that used to be? My heart was once filled to the brim with hope. As I grew older that person slowly died.
A child dreaming of wealth and castles. A man barely scraping by, sometimes without food. The fire in the boy’s soul could be felt through his eyes. The man’s eyes are eager to close for the final time.
The young one wanted to change the world. The elder just wants to survive in it. Optimism replaced with betrayal induced cynicism. The innocence in the youngster’s soul left long ago.
With age came the evolution of my mind and withering of my heart. This is the passing of youth.
The sun shines no longer as nightfall approaches. Rain begins tap-dancing on my window. Save for the elements, silence rings. By the light of the moon I begin to reflect.
I remember times of youthful euphoria. I had not a care in the world save for essays, fun, and slumber. It seems as though bills and taxes are all I have time to worry about nowadays. If only the hands of time could be turned back.
I remember friends I no longer know. Where are they and what has become of them, I wonder. I can only pray that life has been good to them. Some I hear, have already met death.
I think of myself, for life is uncertain. Will I reach the dreams I once held dear? Will I fill those who love me with pride? Will I die before I can do any of that? Much to my dismay, the answers are held only by father time.
My eyes grow heavy as I tire from pondering. I lie down to begin a good night’s sleep induced from moonlit thoughts.
The last time I was home feels like an eternity ago. I wonder if my wife and children still love me. Do they even remember my face? Will I ever see them again?
For nearly a year we’ve waged war. At times I feel like I don’t even know what for. Squabbles over government, weapons, power, fear, nowadays it all feels the same. Some say we do it for our country. Sadly her habit of injustice makes me question whether patriotism is worth losing my life.
A good night of slumber interrupted by a boom. Another bomb, if only God would intervene and end this war. Upon reaching the site of the explosion I’m greeted by bullets flying overhead. It isn’t the combat that lingers in my mind however; it’s the carnage that follows. We manage to drive away the enemy, but the scene around us will torment me until I die.
A village once thriving and exuberant, now a ghosttown in more ways than one. Our captain yells to check for any survivors. Tearing apart the rubble, I find all of them dead. One is lying in a pool of blood; he looks just like my son. Tears flood my eyes as I stand in the **** called battlefield.
This space lies between the present and my future desires. For some it is heaven on Earth. Others think **** can’t be much worse. A cruel place indeed you are indeed.
Supposedly all are born equal. That’s funny considering some come out of the **** with a silver spoon. Some are born with no need for a spoon because they have no food. Some are born into oppression and ostracization. Inequality, a tragic fact of reality.
In this space we are expected to be happy. However happiness is an illusion for many. They feel as if light at the end of the tunnel is nothing but a myth. Time after time they take their own lives hoping to find solace in death. Depression, a crippling ailment of reality
Dreams are said to be omnipotent. However, I’ve seen this place crush too many for that to be true. Hope withers here. This is the cage known as reality.
To get home, I take the trudge through this warzone every day. Broken bottles line the sidewalk. Well people have to cope somehow. Sunlight never shines through the blinds because the windows are boarded.
This isn’t the type of place you go sightseeing, but I’ll be your tourguide for today. First stop is the corner store; here you’ll find the toothless men who leave the broken bottles. I’m sure whatever story they’re telling is great. Truly sad it is that you nor I will ever be able to decipher their slurred tales.
To your right you’ll see a young girl. Excuse her attire; that’s just typical uniform in her line of work. “What kind of product is she selling?” you may wonder. She isn’t selling the product; she is the product. Sad as it may be, that’s one of the more prominent parts of the workforce around here. If her mother were sober, maybe she wouldn’t have needed employment.
As we continue our walk, be sure to keep straight. Most who detour into the allies don’t come back. If only my friend had known that when he moved here. He was always a gambler, but that night he lost money and a lot more.
You may also be wondering why those walking past us have such vacant eyes. Around here we don’t get much sleep. The sounds of bullets ricocheting often keeps us awake. If not that, for me it’s the screams of lady next door. Her husband is a giant but far from a gentle one.
I must bid you adieu now; you’d be best not to stay past sundown. I pray this tour hasn’t left you scarred.