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Back To Part Three: Go where there is no snow

"A Dead Guy Walks Into A Bar"
Noder's Digest Condensed Version

Part Four: Testing the Waters
Based on a true story

From this moment on...
Those who you welcome into your orbit...
You will give a piece of you to them...
And a piece of their pain will be given in return...

Restoration of life isn't an accepted science. Yet, receiving a second chance at life isn't anything to be taken lightly. The noble deceased man, come back to the world he knew, knew he had to rethink everything. He had to redefine his standards of success and to reinterpret everything he had considered in the past. He had always been a shy man, retreating from any argument or controversy. Now the world he knew was different, if only because he was different.

I am the same, but I have changed.

Ties were severed clean. Those of the old guard could not understand. As much as the man kept his adventures in the afterthought a secret, he could not keep the faces from appearing on those he once called his friends. They admitted they no longer knew who he was. They called him cocky. They told him they suspected he was mentally ill because of his positive attitude towards life. He smiled and bid them farewell.

Mamma's punching bag's got a new flashlight.
Ain't it pretty?

Would it really matter to lose friends who had seen him as an easy target? Would it really matter that those who could not adjust to the new within the old would leave? It was time to burn down the house and rebuild a new empire. The old empire had been sad and tragic. The emperor had been mad, taking slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as a burden to be carried. It was time to move forward. The women he had known he no longer considered fit to tie his shoes. Was he really only fit to be a safe harbor for those who entertained the favor of other men when they were available? All that was the most unpleasant part of the horse's ass. For a while he would allow himself to go completely mad, in order to better absorb what he was capable of. He chased emptiness and revelled in it. That was his right. To date fifty women in the span of a year and not become attached to any of them. A silly cause, and yet he considered it to be atonement for his old self becoming emotionally attached to any woman who smiled in his direction.

Your ego has had its fun.
It is time to go where there is no snow
You must become more than the less you pretend to be.

"All I want is peace."

"The only peace is within the self.
There is no peace here.
Redefine peace."

"Why the quest? Why can't I have my life?"

"You gave that up
when you took your life
and accepted the wings given to you."

"I gave up nothing."

"Defiance breeds its own power."

The man found himself standing in a doorway. The woman was busily preparing herself for their date by assembling her make-up. She seemed excited, looking forward to the evening. She had procured tickets for the tenth row of a concert and was excited about being so close to her favorite singer. The dead guy smiled, never letting her know that to him she was no more than number fifty of the year's list of women. He never understood that she would be the one to open the floodgates. That of which he never spoke would be revealed this evening.

In the words of another can be found
reason enough for your own.

The avalanche would come. Standing in the audience as a highly emotional singer brought songs to them, the man was driven from the venue. His date followed him out to the parking lot and sat with him as he tilted his head back and sighed repeatedly. He told her he did not want to talk about it and she told him she understood. After he told her she could not possible understand, she pulled up the sleeves of her blouse and revealed deep, ragged scars coursing across her wrists.

"I've wasted too much time on my ego," he told her.

"Where do you need to go?"

"There is someone I need to find."

The greatest continuous source of pain in the man's former life had been his bella donna. Seeing himself for so long as an unattractive, goofy and shy boy with no prospects and nothing to offer he had avoided her. Why settle for the unfaithful, shallow women he had been with in his life? Mostly because he tried to impress Bella Donna that way. If he was single and alone she might think no one considered him attractive or interesting. She was too good. She was too smart, too insightful and to beautiful for the likes of him.

"I can't believe you were ever like that."

"I know what I've been trying to prove to myself these past dozen months."


"That I am good enough. No one should ever sell themselves short. When you deny yourself everything that you truly desire and settle for third best you destroy yourself. You have to take chances."

"Are you going to her now?"

"As soon as I figure out how. It is the last chance I have to find what I lost."

Part Five: I look in the mirror

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