Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. ~Arthur Miller
I’m like a bird. I’m like a little bird, with a more developed brain. No, I’m more like a flightless bird. One whose species has the ability to fly, but I’m always the one who’s held back. No one ever trusted me with anything. Honestly, who could blame them? I was a shoe. One that had holes and no laces. I was useless for my design. Not saying I didn't have another purpose, just not the one that I was designed for.
At this point in my life, everything was upside-down. I was going to college the next fall, and I had graduated merely two days ago. Scholarships. I should have applied for more. How much money were these?
“100. And 700. That’s 800...”
I stood outside, tring to remember them, and counting them off, tallying their money. Not a bad amount of money was received, but still. How would I ever make it through college, let alone life? Things were so boring. I sat here, then went to school, then came home to an angry Cliff, because his house was usually dirty.
Cliff and I were best friends. Ever since high school had started, we had been best friends. Actually, I lived with him at the moment. My parents were back in Iowa, but I was here stuck in Maine.
Iowa. It was such a boring state. The same mundane thing resided in every town, every village, every city, and ever square mile of it. It was like déjà vu to travel around it. Every person in the state was mundane. Maine was the exact same. They all sat around, and waited for life to happen. Everyone was just waiting. Waiting and waiting. That wasn’t for me. I was tired of waiting for life to happen, I wanted to happen to life, and leave my mark. But I was just a broken bird.
This exact moment, however, was a little not mundane. I was standing next to Cliff, and the rest of my former highschool, as we watched a funeral procession. A fallen soldier. He was coming home.
I watched the cars pass, and I thought. Life was so mundane. You get up. You do your thing. You die. You never come back. Then what? What happened after life was the interesting part. Was there an afterlife? If so, who was accepted in it?
I watched as car after car of crying family passed, and many held rosaries in their hand. I doubted any of them had ever even prayed before. That was how people were now. Money mattered. Love. Life. Not death. Death was the bad guy. Where did religion fit in? It was like so many of the classes I had to drop in highschool because I didn’t have enough room for them. It was there, and I thought about it, but I didn’t take part in it.
Certainly, death reenforced religion. That was obvious. Suddenly, once someone has died, everyone’s hoping they made it to heaven alright. Yet none of them ever prayed, or went to mass. I bet some of them had never believed in a lord until their son, cousin, dad, grandchild, or brother had died. After all, if there wasn’t a heaven, he would be gone. Forever.
Religion seemed to be a way to cope with death and the mysteries of life. Did I believe in it? Not a chance. Not even the day my brother died out in the mountains of Colorado. Not when my little toddler cousin fell and drowned in the river. They were sad occasions, but that was the mundane pattern of life. You live, then you die.
So why was everyone crying over death if they had their precious heaven? Didn’t they believe he was in a better place? Shouldn’t they be celebrating that he was gone, and had escaped the clutches of the grotesque, ravenous abyssal life that they were falling through? Hadn’t he won the game?
The game. The game was to get out as fast as possible and make it to heaven, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that where they wanted to go? So why was it so sad if he was going to a better place? He wasn’t stuck in the abyss.
The abyss. The bottomless pit. That was what we were falling through. It had no bottom, it was just a boring, mundane fall full of hurt and heartache. It was what the religious called hell. No matter what they say, I say if there is a hell, we’re on it right now.
The real tragedies are what happen to the living. The real ones are when you have no friends. When you are paralyzed, deaf, blind, mute, or have another disability. That’s where the real tragedies lay. I say we mourn for those living in poverty. Those who are abused. I say that we cry over them. Yet no one gave a fuck about them.
Living in their big houses with their big cars. They had food everyday. They had shelter. They had a home, and a family. They had a good job. Yet even when they see those fundraisers outside the supermarket, they pass on by, like no one in another country is suffering.
That must be their motto. “If you can’t see it, it isn’t real.”
Just because people weren’t getting abused in their house, they didn’t care, because it wasn’t them. Just because people had their nice cars and houses, there wasn’t some man living in a box. And even when they did see the evidence, even when they saw the box, or the bruises, or the lack of food, it wasn’t real. They passed over it like it was some sick disease that was disgusting and inhuman. It was like these people were less than human. Maybe they were broken birds, too.
If those people, with their fancy meals and houses, had their religion, weren’t they supposed to help others? Why didn’t they? They clearly could afford it. Maybe everyone was a broken bird. Or maybe they were created to be evil and hostile towards others. Maybe that was what they were created for. Maybe they were born to by hypocrites, and ungrateful assholes, and the upper class. Maybe they were born to rise with their money and leave the less fortunate in the dust.
The funeral passed on. I began to think again. I began to think of more things, especially as I saw the car that held the casket pass.
What was death? Was it nothing more than a reenforcement for religion? Did it hurt? What would happen when you died? The cool, calming tranquility of death was tempting, but suppose you didn’t die right away? I wouldn’t want to suffer.
Did I really want to commit suicide? No. I was too afraid to. I was afraid that it would hurt. Still, getting out of the abyss was a nice thought. It was a very relaxing thought. It almost calmed me, and made me feel at ease surrounded by cars packed with tearing persons.
Would anyone really care if I just slipped away? Maybe Cliff. My parents didn’t give a fuck. Besides that, I was the outcast of the school. Everyone talked about me. I could hear them. They knew I could hear them, but I was below the courtesy of even hiding it from me. I’d turn around, and they’d still be looking at me, making jokes and pointing.
Maybe I was too weird. Maybe I was a victim of circumstance. Like as if someone hated me, and it had a domino effect. Maybe it spread like communism was supposed to. Either way, I was the outcast. I’m sure no one would care if I closed my eyes and died. The wouldn’t care if I took too many pills, or if I jumped off of a tall building. They wouldn’t care if I slit my wrists, and put them under water. They wouldn’t care if I put a bullet in my temple, and painted the wall with my brains.
But did dying hurt? I didn’t want it to hurt. So I stood there. I waited. I waited just like everyone else. I waited for life to happen, and for it to end. I waited for death. Yet I waited just like I hated others for doing.
What a fucking hypocrite I was.