Sometimes I just sit there, huddled at the bottom. Leaning forward, my chest pressed against my knees.  Listening to the soothing white noise of the droplets crashing against the vinyl curtain. Rubbing the warmth into my head and neck. Trying to massage some semblance of ambition into my body.

If I can just scrub hard enough I might wash away the doubt and fear. I might rinse away the filth of the worry, and shame, and guilt.

I look up and let the water run across my closed eyes.

If I just stay here long enough I might come clean.2047183582_3503e149ab_z.jpg

Image Credit: Shower by Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

From the Bottom

How far down this hole did you crawl. How long did you travel through the maze ruined dreams and cast aside ambitions. Just to have a cool place to lay with the failures amassed. Here you’ve been for so long, eyes shut, looking back on it all. The things you’ve done, the pain, the debauchery, the betrayals. The people you loved, you’ve hurt, you’ve been. It seems so clear from this far down. In all this time you have kept solace in one thought. Vitriolic optimism surfaces once again. Smiling knowing you still have so much farther down to go





Expectations of the Day

There are always certain expectations we have in our lives.

I can expect today that I will  leave my house to go to a job that I have long since lost all passion for. It would not be unusual for my daughter to get angry or upset because I am leaving so soon after bringing her home from school, my getting a bit frustrated about this would be about par for the course, from here the prospects for my day will only get grimmer.

When I arrive at work I can assume that my boss will greet me and ask me how I am doing. I am expected to say, “Fine.” I am fairly certain that if I were to say anything difference would change his , we’ve been going through this routine for years and I can tell that he’s not really paying any attention. I’ll draw some coffee from the air pot, in all likelihood it will be luke warm and taste of old pencil shavings.

At some point, probably late, the rest of the staff will begin to trickle in, various levels of excess from last night all too readable on their faces. I can anticipate an exasperating string of hours watching them drag themselves through the paces of the day.  It is only a matter of time before they get started, probably early, on tomorrow’s hangover.

In all probability the mediocrity of my employment, the drudgery and thankless nature of my work will further embitter me, and throughout the night I can safely expect to seriously consider quitting my job about four times, at least one of those times I will come close to just walking out. It won’t be worth it, I’ve got too much sense and too much responsibility, but it would be a damned satisfying thing to do.

After some many years I would suppose I might be inured to the feeling bleakness when examining my prospects for an evening.  It is within all reasonable expectations that I will struggle with the urge to drink. At the end of it all it will probably be best if I go home eat a pint of ice cream, and stare at my computer in mild annoyance. These short bouts of depression really get to me sometimes.

I expect…

Well, I expect I’ll feel better tomorrow.

This was written in response to a Weekly Challenge.


This is a continuation of Fall.

I am sitting in a rocking chair with my leg, in a cast from my ankle to my hip, propped on a milk crate.  I am angry as I look around at the glorified hallway of an apartment that I am stuck in. This cramped, dilapidated set of rooms, with the uneven floors and the bars on the windows in a lousy neighborhood. The last four weeks have been a string of disappointments, one after another. Four weeks of finding out that I could not cook properly while on crutches. Four weeks not being able to go where I want, when I want. Four weeks of pain, and pills for pain and inflammation, and blood thinners. Four weeks of no booze, no cigarettes, no real company other than a three-year-old who doesn’t speak well, and really has no idea what is going on. And after those four weeks the doctor tells me that I have, at the very least, four more weeks of the same to look forward to. It feels like I am always angry.

I didn’t pick out this apartment, my wife did. She had to pick it out herself because I had to go and break my knee. We have just moved in. That is to say my wife and my best friend moved us in, it is a bit hard to do any heavy lifting with only one usable leg. This apartment is too expensive for its condition and area, but it is what we can afford. Especially now that I am not working. My wife has taken work as a dishwasher in the restaurant where I worked to help with the bills. She is almost never home now. There is so much for her to do now, shopping, paying bills, work, and taking our daughter to her speech therapy. I feel like she is avoiding me. I’d be avoiding me if I was able to leave.

I make attempts to unpack our belongings from time to time. This is a bit scary as I have to lower myself to the ground and hope I can engineer a way of getting back up again each time I inspect a boxes contents to figure out where things should go. Attempting to move furniture by myself is dangerous, my daughter scampers about wanting to “help”, and leaving a trail of toys in her wake. I do not have to do this myself but the clutter and my inactivity infuriates me. I manage to accomplish close to nothing except irritating myself further. It will have to wait until my wife’s day off. My only other available distractions are either, sitting in my chair staring through the barred window at the brick wall and closed blinds of the house across the driveway, or laying in bed watching television. I have had my fill of the latter and am quickly growing tired of the former.

I do get to take a few outings, when my wife has time to escort me, to the coffee shop. I use these opportunities to access the internet and realize the gap of distance and time between myself and most of the people I know. When I am there it can be hit or miss whether I meet up with any of my friends. When I do they always seem have to go back to work or leave for appointments far too soon, still it is good to see them even just for a minute. There are not many of these trips though, as they are time-consuming, exhausting, and painful.

Eventually, I get adept enough at using crutches, that I can manage small trips by myself. I can make it down the road to the ice cream shop to use their WiFi, but carrying the laptop proves to be awkward and it throws me off balance. I can go to the corner store to grab a snack, but the things I want always seem to be on a lower shelf, just out of reach of someone in a full leg cast, so I need to ask for help. From the edge of the store’s parking lot I can see the  overflowing parking lot of the restaurant I worked at before my injury and find myself longing for the stress and confusion of the kitchen, something I never thought I would miss. I look down the road and sense how far away my friends houses are on the other side of town. My friends who can walk and ride and drive, with their own lives, their own schedules, that never quite seem to have time to visit me or even call. Sooner or later I wind up hobbling my way back to my confinement and stare through the bars at the fading sunlight.

The most painful and frustrating part to all of this is pretending that none of this bothers me. Keeping this to myself because it is already hard enough on everyone else. Bottling everything up this much leads to moments of explosive rage, and numbing depression without much ground in between. My next appointment with the orthopedist is marked on the calendar and I find myself dreaming that this cast will come off then. I don’t want to just walk. I want to run away.