Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted February 4, 2016


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Biographical Essay

Options

by michaelcahill




















 
I’ve always had options. I allow the prison’s door to lock me in. The key is safe within my pocket. Yes, it is my choice, every mistake, as you would call it. Or every honorable act as some would say.
 
I'm a fool, no doubt, considering rewards and such. I’ve nothing to show for anything I’ve done. In truth, I’ve done nothing, nothing by the standards people use to judge such things. Other standards are panaceas for failure we bandy about to comfort the poor and unsuccessful.
 
I was born, which should come as no surprise. Mom went from the delivery room to the electro-shock therapy room. I like to think they used the same bed on wheels. Somehow that amuses me. Me? I went somewhere else.
 
I grew up and became two at some point. I was kidnapped by Mom (escaped, released, it isn’t clear) and her cohorts, or family members, which made them mine too.
 
Then there were various step-fathers who threw milk bottles (they were glass back in the day) fed me partially raw pancakes, beat my insane mother (possibly with some cause) and various other typically male endeavors. I was not, and have never been, a fan of men.
 
There were houses with roaches and rats. The rats were affectionate and nibbled on my ear. The roaches just crawled and scurried as they are wont to do. I don’t care for crawling and scurrying. Ear nibbling made a comeback at a later date in my esteem.
 
Mom was an aficionado of butcher knives though never gainfully employed. It was an avocation and one she sought to practice on me, a budding escape artist, and one of great skill. I always thought we should join a circus. I was never scared. I never get cut.
 
Just some history to let you know I have plenty of stories to manipulate you with should I choose to. I have excuses, should I choose to use them. I can garner sympathy, pity, empathy and even purloin your underpants should I so desire. I know how to manipulate and can do it better than almost anyone you've ever met. Truth.
 
I don’t desire to. I think that’s my mistake. I look around me and I see people getting hugs and kisses. They are getting held like babies. People cry over them as though they are infants. People make allowances for them. They can be angry for no justifiable reason and receive an understanding pat on the head. They can be liars and that’s okay because, you know, life was tough and they can’t help it. Folk are getting cared for all over the damn place.
 
It’s even worse for me. Everyone sooner or later finds out that I can tolerate their problems and help them. I do have problems myself, but yes, I will set those aside to help them with their problems. I have no Earthly idea why I do that. It doesn’t seem sensible to me either. I seem to be a magnat for people with problems. Even people who seem like they might help me with my problems turn out to have their own problems. Somehow, my problems fade into the background and are forgotten. Sometimes I almost feel like screaming, "HEY! I exist too." But, I already know it doesn't really matter, at least in a relative way. Oh well, I'm used to it.
 
This has been going on now for a very long time. As a result, I’ve never actually pursued anything I was interested in for myself. I always seem to have someone who has an interest they need my help with. I actually enjoy helping. It is satisfying to me to see another's success. I just wish someone would take an interest in mine. After all, my mommy was insane, I was kidnapped, abused, bit by rats, and she tried to kill me all the while I grew up in poverty and my bicycle had a flat tire. But, that's okay. I'm fine.
 
There’s an upside though. I’m considered a nice guy by all. Some consider me a great guy. There are even some who consider me a Saint.
 
I seem to be a scary guy for some reason on top of all that. I’ve never lost a fight. For real, I’ve NEVER lost a fight. It is rare for anyone to even risk challenging me. I haven’t the slightest idea why that would be so. I'm not a big guy except for my gigantic hands. Yeah, I know what your thinking. I'm not denying it am I?
 
I also always get the girl. There has never been a girl I wanted I didn’t get. Not one, ever, from the third grade to this very day. I’m serious, I’ve got every single girl I ever wanted, no exceptions. Some of them have been downright astonishing. I have no idea why. I seldom have anything to offer them, and I’m usually tied down with people I’m helping who aren’t going anywhere. Still, I get the girl anyway.
 
Don’t believe me? I once had a bird store selling parrots mainly. We hand-raised baby parrots, sold them and offered care and advice etc. Our store was burglarized and we lost it. I was forced to take a job at minimum wage at PetSmart, a huge national chain, the enemy as far as I was concerned.
 
My first day there a beautiful black haired girl walked towards me to introduce herself. I was in love with her before she was ten feet away. Yes, I do that. Yes, it is always real. She was nineteen years old and turned out to be a lesbian, a hard-core lesbian, as she put it to me. Every twenty-something guy in that store was smitten with her and wanted her, so did half the girls. I was in my forties. Okay, I was forty-six. I got the girl.
 
Now, that brings us to the present day. I live in a houseful of people who need me. They are all totally dependent on me. “Mike” or “Dad” are the two words I hear all day long. “Dad” is their idea of what I am. It’s okay with me if it floats their boat.
 
I don’t have many friends, I’m a loner. For all intents and purposes I’m stuck. There isn’t a chance that anyone is ever going to lift a finger to do anything for me for a long time, maybe forever.
 
I actually have managed to develop some abilities along the way. I’m a musician and a writer. I still do both for what reason, I cannot say. I just want to.
 
I should add that I’m not ambitious and I’m not one to self-promote. Yeah, I know, those are somewhat pre-requisites for success.
 
Are there other factors in my life? Yes. But there’s nothing I can reveal and there’s nothing I can do about them. I’m not a person that hurts other people. It limits my options considerably.
 
I couldn’t see a nineteen-year-old lesbian marrying a forty-six-year-old pet shop boy much to her sadness and mine, believe me. We're still friends. I'm still friends or I would be with any woman I've ever been with. No hard feelings, sometimes it doesn't work. Parts of it does, why give that up?
 
I couldn’t ask my high school sweetheart to leave her husband and three children. He was a great guy. Pretty sad for us both. I had to move a hundred miles away from her and we made a pact never to be in each other’s presence again. We were kind of attracted to each other a little. We e-mail and talk on the phone once in a while.
 
(Just a note, I was separated at the time of these little dalliances so, no, I didn’t cheat on my wife. In fact, I’ve never cheated on her or any other partner, believe it or not. But before you applaud, I’ve destroyed some marriages and caused some break ups, some deserved and others because I had a big ego when I was much younger. So, I’m still a big typical male jackass for that. But, I’m better now, kind of.  It doesn’t mean much to be better than most men when men are so worthless for the most part.)
 
You’ll notice, the Sainthood was a bit premature. Hey, people fall the hell in love. I’m as loyal as anyone on Earth to the point of destroying my life. It doesn’t mean I’m immune to love. No one is. That doesn’t mean I condone chasing wives or husbands. It just means, it happens and it isn’t always some evil thing. Well, another topic for another day.
 
Whatever else may or may not be happening, I can’t abandon the people in my life. It isn’t something I can do.
 
No, I’m not unhappy. I don’t all that much care if I’m a success by societies standards. But I wouldn’t at all mind if I was. It would seem I have some potential. At least I have been told I have. Is it true? Perhaps. Honestly, I doubt it. What else would anyone tell me? I see a lot better than what I can do, I see a lot worse. That’s not encouraging. Whatever, I’ll do it anyway. I want to.    
 
Now, here’s a question for you.
 
What in hell am I supposed to do?



 


Non-Fiction Writing Contest contest entry

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This is what happens when you can't sleep. Thought can be a real pain. It never works out. It just gets worse. Then the noise of the day sets in and it appears to get better. Does it? I don't sleep much.


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