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When I drink I get depressed.

When I wake up the next day I realise I was drunk the day before and I get depressed again.

It’s a cycle.

I participate. I keep it going. I am the feet that pedal this bicycle.

I’m afraid it will kill me.

When I was 20 I didn’t care.

When you’re 20 you’re a God. You can’t die.

When you’re 20 you don’t have a heart or liver or kidneys to concern yourself. Everything is what happens to everyone else.

When I was 20 I went skydiving.

I rode my bike a million miles across a continent and confronted beasts on the road that scare me in memory but were fit for just so many bar room anecdotes then.

Today I’m not me, I’m us. I’m my wife and my kids and my father’s reputation. I’m who the other parents think I should be when I show up at 3:20pm to collect my brood.

When I’m there at 3:20pm I look the part, but inside I’m not what they assume.

I enter the school like the other parents. I look for my kids and when they come I check that hats and mitts and homework and backpack and indoor shoes are all accounted for. I don’t give a shit about any of it, but I keep up appearances.

I keep up appearances while I consider how the place would look if it were on fire.

Before the bell rings, outside, with the other parents and guardians, I only think about how I was once my kids’ age. I think about how I hated being a kid. But I really know I only like to think I hated it.

Inside I know I loved it, being young, like everyone does. But my age resents it and refuses to believe it even happened.

I’m lost now.

The drink and the music takes my mind away.

This state is just for listening. Just to absorb.

The kids are in bed, sleeping and not knowing that they’ll be me one day.

I could smother them out of the misery of getting older and coming to understand how wonderfully terrible life is. Or I could let them suffer and cringe and burn and die a little each day, and grow up like everyone else.

Let their friend grow up with them and then take his own life in a cheap hotel when he’s just 30, just when they thought life was getting started. They’d learn something then.

I’m no judge of cruelty required, so I opt to do nothing, as always.

They only know me as the Dad who plays games after work. I leave at 8am, saying goodbye. Then I suffer the retarded thoughts and actions of my peers for 7.5 hours each day, minus 1 hour for lunch where I read fiction and try to forget myself.

When I get home they’re happy to see me, but the knowledge of the life I’m leading them into kills me a bit more each time I open the front door.

Hi! I missed you! How was your day?

My day was fine! Say, did you know that each day brings you closer to death?

What?

Nevermind.

I don’t want to be younger. I don’t want to be what I was when I was 10. Or 14.

What I want is to be stupid again. Kids are stupid. And everyone takes care of them.

Ah, to be stupid again!

Think of it!

Ignorance is bliss. But stupidity is ignorance of ignorance, which the children enjoy. That’s where I long to be.

World, take care of me. You don’t owe it to me, but I don’t know any better.

I’m so tired.



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