Tag Archives: Past

Burned Bridges

I used to say fuck it
So many more roads to travel
Time was my friend
I didn’t know it was a bitter bitch
Relentless in how the past reverberates
Technology throws my mistakes back at my eyes
Pictures of happy eyes and wholesome resolve
Hand in hand, hanging out under mistletoe
So many have found their equation
The path must be so clear to them
Looking back at me with thanks
Thanks that they left me behind
Knowing I would have never stacked up
As I look around I wonder where else to go
I have fucked up so many things
Made a fool of myself to so many
A walking joke and a defined failure
Forged from bad mistakes and late nights

An Eternity Apart

It wasn’t as bad as you may think it could be. That one thing that every sane person is afraid of: dying. Of course, the lead up to your actual death could be very painful. Some people wilt away on medication for years, while some just get a surprise bullet to the head. I had a severe heart attack, which was no joyride, but it gave me time to have that all-important “life flash before your eyes” moment. I saw my childhood and my parents caring for me. I saw my music teacher showing me how to play the bassoon. I saw my 21st birthday party and all those people who somehow left my life after college.
Most importantly, I saw Maria. She was the love of my life, and from the moment we met to the moment she died nothing seemed to be wrong with the world. We never paid attention to the news, we only saw comedies in the theatres, we made love almost every night, our two children grew up to be successful and happy, and the last thing she heard in this world was “I love you” coming from my tear-soaked lips. Maria. I could still feel her hand in mine. Even after all those years, I could still feel her.
The moment came. My eyes closed and there was a sudden rush. Darkness intertwined with light shot past me. My whole being became free of my earthly weight. I was disoriented but I had no stomach to purge from. All of a sudden, I was seemingly back in my body, standing up straight and staring at a man sitting at a desk with a large book in front of him
Holy shit, it’s real!?
“Yes, it is real Andrew,” the man at the desk said, “and thoughts are the same as speaking around here so you mine as well just speak your mind.”
I was calm when he opened up the book.
“So it seems like you are one of the few who found their ‘soul mate’ during their time on Earth, a woman named Maria. That’s wonderful, how was that for you?”
I smiled widely. “It was the happiest fifteen years of my life.”
The man (or whatever he was) smiled as he listened to my response. “That’s just wonderful Andrew, simply wonderful.” He looked back down at the book and started to read. “What happened after she passed?” He raised his pointer finger sharpily. “And might I remind you, lying is a useless skill here.”
That calm flew away. “I mourned, sir. My life fell apart. She was my everything. I lost my way without her.”
“What about your kids…Stephen and Angela? How did they react after Maria passed?”
Words started to become harder to come by. “Well…their mother died, how do you think they took it?”
“OK, lets cut the bullshit Andrew. You are aware I am an all-knowing being, am I correct? You wouldn’t even be in front of me if you handled your shit after your woman left your world. So tell me: what happened?”
I was taken aback, but I realized I couldn’t move. He is hearing all of this anyway, why not just tell him. “I gave them to their mother’s sister. I was in no shape to take care of a five year old boy and a seven year old girl, and she wasn’t fertile so she was more than happy to take them. I felt like they deserved more than me. I have gotten back in contact with them, and they are living happy and successful lives. Stephen is a teacher and Angela is a lawyer.”
“Mhmm,” the man gestured. He was now writing in the book. “So you know where you are, right?”
“Purgatory?” I said, hoping I would be wrong but also silently hoping I was right.

“DING DING DING DING! Correct. And I know you haven’t been in a church since the day you were married, but do you remember what purpose Purgatory serves?”
“It’s where the lost souls go to prove their worthiness to go to heaven or hell?”
“Good Andrew, you’re on the right track.” He closed the book and looked right at me. “There is no hell. I know, this is sort of a shocker to most souls, but the big man would never forgive himself if he banished people to a fiery pit for all of eternity. But, regardless of that, there must be punishment for souls that are tarnished.” He moved from behind the desk and slowly walked up to me. “Your soul is tarnished, Andrew. Quite so. You know Maria would never want you to abandon your kids at such a young age. Did you even know Angela has HIV, which she contracted from her 32nd sexual partner out of, currently, 70? She infected 21 people after that, both male and female. She puts on a show for you, Andrew. She secretly hates you for leaving her and, in her words, ‘fucking up her life.’”
“How could I know that? How come she never said anything?” I would normally think these things but the gravity of the situation made me articulate them in my speech.
“And Stephen? When he was 16 he got a 14 year old girl pregnant. In order to cover up the pregnancy, he pushed her down the stairs so she would have a miscarriage. Something he saw in a movie during his years of zero-parental-guidance. Unfortunately, she broke her neck and died while he panicked, delaying the call to 911 while he decided what to do. He has not had a sexual partner since then and currently watches child pornography when he is not teaching 8th grade English.”
“Stop it! Why are you telling me this!” I started to cry, and for a moment I forgot I died and couldn’t help my children anymore.
“Maria wants you to know.” I looked at him through my swelling tears. “You and her were soul mates, there is no doubt about that. It says so in that big book over there, and two soul mates finding each other is really, really rare. When two souls who are meant to be together are actually together, they normally leave a path of beauty and wonder in the wake of their life. The world is always a better place when they leave than when they came. But you two…that has been the opposite. She has been haunted by what she’s been seeing up here, that’s for sure.”
“Maria is here? Can I please see her? Oh my God, she’s all I’ve ever wanted!”
“You still had Maria when she died. You had two of them actually, and you let them go. Not only did you break the bond of father to children, but also between two souls. Though you have felt anguish and pain after Maria passed, you never bothered to keep the fire of your love burning. Just because someone dies doesn’t mean they’re gone, that’s simply ridiculous logic!”
“What are you saying?”
“I am saying, you and Maria are no longer ‘soul mates’. I know, it’s confusing, but things work oddly between heaven and earth. That part of the book has been edited, citing your acts as the reason for the change from ‘soul mate’ to ‘intimate acquaintance’”
Whatever heart I had left disappeared. “So I can never see her again? And I damned my children to horrible lives after I left them? Is that what you’re fucking saying to me you fucking cocksucker?” His anger was articulated behind the waterworks of a tormented soul.
“Yes. And do not become aggressive with me. I am simply but a messenger. A lot of souls think that we secretly control them from up here. That would defeat the whole purpose of life. You see that book over there? New pages are written every second that passes with real people taking control of their real lives. We don’t write anything in there, you do. You have no one to blame but yourself for this. I wish I could say I’m sorry, but I’m really not.”
Anger, hatred, blame, guilt, sorrow. A flood of emotions funnelled through me. I looked at the man, whose face truly showed no remorse. He must do this all the time.
“Where do I go now?”
He smiled, as if thinking finally this motherfucker is leaving me. He gestured towards two doors at the far end of the room. “Honestly, we like to say door number 1 is Heaven and door number 2 is Purgatory, but really no matter what door you go through you’ll end up in the right spot.”
“Thank you…I guess.” I turned around, defeated. I wouldn’t be getting prodded in the ass with pitchforks for all of eternity, but I wouldn’t be dancing with Maria in a sea of rose petals either. It didn’t really matter what was behind that door, because if Maria was not there it would be a hell for me. And my children? How can I go about my afterlife knowing all of that? Maria is heartbroken but can’t wait to get them back in her arms. To protect them from me. Our tie was broken, and there was nothing I could do about it but hope that purgatory had some sort of silver-lining redemption.

The Broken Past

I couldn’t leave the house without what was in the safe. “Fuck. Shit. Fuck.” In times of desperation and uncertainty, all I can utter are curses. I slipped in the woman’s blood and steadied myself on the banister of the stairs. I don’t know why people like wood flooring, I’ve always been a rug man. What happens when the winter comes and the floor is cold as ice? Then again, these people seemed to be rich enough to properly heat their house to avoid such annoyances. No worries, they didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

I took a left at the end of the hallway and went to the husband’s office. There was a painting that was hanging behind the man’s chair. If the fucking safe is behind that painting I’m going to flip out. The work of art that hid the safe was incredibly detailed, showing the countrysides of beautiful hills as well as the bustling activity of a small town. I didn’t know if it was Impressionistic or Post-Impressionistic or whatever, but I did study it for a few seconds before I tore it off the wall. For those few seconds, I forgot I just killed a man and his wife.

Though that was never the intention. I never wanted to kill anybody. These things just happen. It’s the way the game is played and I didn’t make the rules.

The picture was heavy as shit and took all of my wavering strength to take it off the wall. Once it was unhinged I dropped it to the floor carelessly. Sure enough, there was a fucking safe behind it. Anyone who is that cliche deserves to fucking die. I dug into my pocket, going around my pack of cigarettes and lighter, to find a little piece of paper with three numbers on it. I turned the dial ever so gently and pulled the lever. It unlatched and the door swung open. “Haha! Fuck yes!” I curse in times of joy as well.

I unload the cash that was hiding in the safe and run out the front door. I got a glimpse of the wife’s wide open dead eyes as I left through the front door. They reminded me of a woman I once knew, but I couldn’t remember her name. A slight pang of guilt and shame invaded my being, but that would soon be gone.

As I ran down the front lawn of the house I could hear sirens coming down the street. This was no surprise, as gunshots and screams of terror usually stir up the interests of the police. I got in the front seat and zoomed off, turning down side streets I remembered from my childhood. I got onto the interstate and sped to the city. I started to sweat and itch as I got closer and closer. Fuck meeting Dave first, I need a fucking fix.

I turned off two exits before I was supposed to and made my way to North 6th street. I texted Sebastian with one eye on the road to tell him I would be there in a few minutes. I got the two lettered approval in response. I parked right in front of this particular crack house, and checked three times to make sure the doors were locked. I walked up to the stoop and there was a large man sitting there waiting to let people in. I showed him the text message Sebastian sent me that approved my arrival, which was always a random set of two letters that the man in the stoop knew as an approval. A secret code between doorman and bossman. I heard one time a fiend showed the doorman the wrong set of letters (I think the fucking idiot used ‘OK’ for fucks sake) and the fiend was punished with a gunshot to the head. The body lay in the street till two in the afternoon the next day, and the police ignored the house next to the body. This fucking city is fucked, that’s for sure.

I go up the stairs, ignoring the fiends hunched over a candle in the living room, and make my way to Sebastian’s ‘office’. I opened the door and there he was, a hispanic with nicely tailored facial hair and clean clothes on. “Scott, how are you doing? You look like shit, yes?” he said in a calm not-giving-a-fuck tone.

“Yeah bro, can I get a hundred spot? Also a fifty of H for later so I can fucking sleep.” I fidgeted in my usual I’m-about-to-get-high fashion.

Sebastian changed his posture, leaning back in his chair and looking directly in my eyes. “You’re telling me you got 150 for dope?” He half smiled. “You know I don’t do no loan shit, right?”

I had no choice but to smile and take out the cash I rolled up for the purchase. “I don’t do no loan shit either.”

Sebastian smiled as it landed in his lap. “Where the fuck did you get this kind of bread? No offense, but you’re just a lowlife on the cusp of becoming a full-blown fiend. Who’d you roll over for this? Some rich guy on the train?” Nobody who would be holding even a small amount like 150 would be riding the train, which are dubbed ‘Death Rides’ in this city which seems to be standing in for the lowest rung of hell.

“I did some work.” I wiped my nose for no reason, truly fiending for that high. “C’mon man, give me some shit so I can get on with my night.”

Sebastian got up from his chair and walked towards me. This is something he has never done before, so I inched back as he got closer. He stared at me with his sober eyes, sizing me up from top to bottom. He stopped scanning when he got to the cuff of my jacket. “What the fuck is that?” he inquired coldly with his finger pointing. I looked down and there was blood on my jacket. “Who the fuck did you kill? And I hope to Christ you got more than 150 you fucking piece of shit.”

I was scared and almost sober, not a good combination. “Yo, can you just…get me what I asked for? I got the money right here, just take it and I’ll leave.”

Sebastian quickly pulled a handgun from behind his back. “Go get me the rest of my money.”

Fuck.

I put up my hands, dropping the cash I brought in. “C’mon man, ain’t no need for that. Put that shit away.”

Sebastian picked up his cell and called a number. “Hey, J.R., roll that motherfuckers car and find the loot he’s stashin in there.” I imagined that loaf of a doorman knocking out the window of my shitty car, the only possession I really had left.

“C’mon man, I ain’t got nothin like you got. Please, let me go.”

“I’m gonna let your sorry ass go, just as soon as I get what’s mine.”

The doorman came up with my paper bag filled with money. I was told there was going to be five grand in that safe, but I didn’t bother counting it and I definitely dropped some as I was fleeing. Sebastian opened the bag up, smiled, and sat back down.

“Sir, can you please get our guest a hundred of our finest rock and fifty of our finest H.” The doorman walked over to the drawer and threw two bags at me. “There you go you fucking scumbag, now get the fuck out of here.”

I ran down the stairs and bolted through the door. Luckily, no window was smashed in my car and the only thing missing was the bag of money. I start the engine and start rolling, heading to the local WalMart parking lot to smoke some rock. Crying. Laughter. Ecstasy. After I’m real fucking buzzed, I then start to drive towards the meeting spot with David but remembered I lost the money. Fuck. I turn around and head back to the parking lot. I think I could sleep now. I prepare the heroin and inject it into my right arm, finding the perfect whole to let this magic juice flow into. Images of mutilation and screams of horror flash before my eyes. I feel faint emotions of rage and violence. Disturbed, I turn on the radio and start to zone out.

“Hello Scott. I am outside the house of where a gruesome murder unfolded just hours ago. A husband and wife, identified as thirty-two year olds Justin and Sarah Gunther, were brutally disfigured with a knife and then shot in the throats. A safe in the house was robbed, and there was over one thousand dollars found on the front lawn of the house.”

Gunther…

“Authorities have told us that they have plenty of evidence to find out who did this and an arrest should be made soon.”

Justin and Sarah Gunther…

“Back to you Scott.”

I knew those people. Justin Gunther stole my wife Sarah away from me. Me and Sarah had a child five years ago. A boy. He died…I forget how.

No worries, it was all behind me. I started to doze off, letting my head fall as my consciousness fell into sleep. I saw blue and red colors bounce off the clouds as I closed my eyes. How pretty.