A Day, A Minute

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Near a large metropolitan area in the north, a family sits in stunned hurt and despair as the patriarch surprises them with another fit of rage and accusation. The day, like so many others, now lies in tatters. His addictions seldom yield to a retreat toward family, humility, or humanity. He cannot be reached inside his defensive slide toward loss and oblivion. Though the entire family is in attendance, hurt and pain fill the air, needlessly exacerbating lives populated by trouble. Happiness has fled the building. It’s the price demanded by addiction. These words, the ones you’re reading, are treasonous through the very act of expressing them. Addictions grow in the silences and spaces between the moments of our lives.

In a small town not too far from here, a family gathers to be with their loved one as his body fails him. While the reason for gathering is not joyous, the symbolism of family fills their heavy hearts. A long life can be both celebrated and clung to with fanged fingers. Life is always a treasured embrace, and we rarely wish to exit the dance willingly; the veil of tomorrow beckons us.

I’m connected to both of these happenings. I couldn’t help but observe their overlap, forming a perverse Venn Diagram. They took place at the same hour and minute; neither was aware of the other.

There is no lesson here, no plea to seize the day or bite one’s troubled lips.

I am merely that fish in the bowl, observing, surrounded by an alien wilderness that I’m somehow connected to.
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