A Shovel (Free Writing Exercise)

I haven’t dug my own grave yet, but I did buy a shovel. Because when you know that things are going to go wrong, you don’t stand in the way of letting them go that way. You let all of the punches hit you, because you know that you’re not going to win the fight. That way, when you’re down and out and on the way to the end you can open your arms to greet conclusion like an old friend. So I bought a shovel.

Not actually, that’s just a metaphor, or a simile, or whatever. I was never all that good at the writing terms, nor was I ever all that good at actually finishing a piece of writing. Somebody once said that those that are great are on a completely different level than everyone else, and all of those included in the “everyone else” category are just shit. So with that in mind, I put all of my writing in a garbage bin, grab a couple books from the shelf, my passport, and decide to leave everything behind, because the end could be found, and I had bought a shovel.

There was not much choice anyway; Once you fuck your best friend’s girlfriend, quit your job in a hail of profanity and insults directed at your boss’ mother, tell your landlord that there’s, “no fucking way you’re going to make rent this month,” and ignore your parents calls for the tenth month in a row, once you do all of that, you’ve bought a shovel for yourself, and the only thing left to do is start digging.

I tried to make with peace with it and enjoy it; the freedom of having fucked up so hard that nothing could fix the mistakes I made. That would work for a time, but there were still moments, fleeting ones, where it would hit me, and for about five minutes I would be completely inconsolable; there would be tears, and an unending sobbing that wracked my whole body. Then as quickly as all of that had come on, it would cease, and I would be fine again, a calm would come over by body, and I would smile and think nothing more about the problems I had caused for myself.

I hadn’t wanted to fuck her, but things happen that way. I could blame booze, and I could blame her, but that would be giving myself too easy of an out. I probably could have apologized for it, and worked my way around to telling “him” about it, but “him” walking in on us midway through the act ruined any chance of that. That was a month ago now, and all the other fuck ups had fallen into place after that. Because bad times come in clusters, and they gang beat you with boots heavier than Black Sabbath riffs.

Sure, I could have done something to stop the parade of end times, but apathy clung to my bones like cancer, and I felt nothing. It would have been freeing, if I could have felt some kind of freedom. But apathy doesn’t discriminate between good feelings and bad, and it all just becomes some kind of pastiche of grey; a long haze of emotions where nothing is pulled out, a toxic sludge that you wouldn’t want to stick your hand into.

So it was. Fuck it.

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