City of Death

I live in a city of death.

I know this because I’m forced to sidestep mangled, scorched bodies peppered down the walk every day when I bring in the mail, or when I lug in the groceries. Our block is a necropolis of hundreds. Roasted alive on their incomplete journeys to a better life. Or perhaps crushed to death by giants, and then burned like a funeral pyre.

I have to wonder at the death rate in this city, why no one else seems to be bothered much by it. Loud men on TV would say we have much bigger problems than to worry about spineless immigrants burned trying to get from one piece of land to another. This is our land, they’d say. Serves them right, they’d say.

Once in a while someone comes along with a broom to sweep the bodies away, and dig a big hole to hide the evidence. I think this could be me one day. I could be the one brushing away the sins of neglect, helping society forget what it’s allowed. But more than that I could easily end up a heap in the road, a travelling casualty, burned and torn. No one would lower the flag for me.

Maybe it’s a curse of exposure; we can’t mourn as much death as we see. So we have a value system in place. And I, on my errands and afternoon walks, can’t do anything to change it.

We don’t have the time for worms. In a city of death, their bodies are not our problem.

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Day 29 – Cheeseburger

Do you ever get halfway through a cheeseburger
in a rush
and stop suddenly to realize
there’s only half of it left?

And that if you don’t slow down
it will be gone soon?

Do you ever think
what a shame it would be
to eat a whole cheeseburger
without stopping to appreciate,
to savor,
what you’re doing?

To get to the end
with nothing left in your hands
and not even remember
the taste?

Sunday Morning Ramblings: Another Aside

I’ve been having recurring unpleasant dreams lately, and this is only worth noting because I very seldom dream at all. I like it that way because Lord knows I don’t need to be ruminating over things in my sleep; I do enough of that every waking hour. (“Day 58 – Sleep” is about this subject, if you care to know.) I know my own mind well enough to recognize that when I start having the same dreams or really, dreams at all, it’s because something’s wrong and I’m trying to tell myself how to fix it.

Lately I’ve been dreaming about apologizing to my exes. All of them. Before you ask- no, it’s not because I’ve been a tyrannically abusive monster to them (well actually I guess you’d have to ask them, but I don’t think they’d say that.) However, I’ve made my share of mistakes, had all the normal frustrations of treading water in relationships that couldn’t work out, and that’s never fun for anyone involved. I don’t walk around with a raging guilt complex, and I understand that falling in as well as falling out is a two-way street. But still, y’know, I guess it bothers me, the way I was a kid who just didn’t know any better, and I can’t change that.

Obviously, apologizing in real life is a no-go. They’ve all skittered off into the woodwork and there’s nothing worse than disrupting someone’s happy forgetting to remind them that once upon a time in a faraway land, the two of us were good together, and then we did some really mean shit to each other out of frustration. I wouldn’t even know what to say anyways- sorry we broke up? Sorry I was mad and it was messy and terrible? There’s really nothing to be said for it at this point, certainly nothing worth opening the “why are you suddenly talking to me?” can of worms.

So why does it matter, why the dreams? Because I would like to believe it won’t happen again. I’ve been back in the dating pool for a little while now, wining and dining with new people and hey, it’s kinda scary. Actually, it’s very scary, and that’s before we get to the “So why did your previous relationships not work out?” interrogations. I would like to believe that I’ve learned from my failures, that I’ve matured into a person who won’t make the same mistakes again. I suppose recognizing your faults is the first step, and attempting to rectify mistakes is the next logical one.

I can’t make up for the ugliness that happened, nor will I take credit for all the things that went wrong. There’s no substantial need for me to apologize except to myself.

So I guess what this is, what I’m attempting to do here, is to throw a coin in the fountain of good karma- to put it out there into the universe and hope the good vibes will settle around me. This is for me far more than it’s for them, and it’s for you, dear reader. There are just some things that an apology won’t cover, but the important part is to be sorry. Too often we’re told to forgive ourselves before we’re even sorry, but remorse is an important part of the process. Not because it’ll do anything to change or fix the past, but because it’s good for our health. I think we all could benefit from simply acknowledging our shortcomings, and then blowing them a kiss as they’re swept away in the wind.

I think we’d all sleep a little better at night.