Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kings of the Jungles

It wasn’t the first time I’d
gone out with friends.
At the time, I’d assumed it
wouldn’t be the last either.
My friends and I were
The lives of the parties,
the kings of the jungles.

That crazy went farther than
just parties though.
That crazy went with us
on the road, in school, in public
where you wished for nothing more than to
have an off switch,
to finish the night with the flick of a wrist.
Unfortunately, you can’t.

That night we were driving to one of
the parties.
This one was a big one, an all-nighter,
the kind we’d skip school for the day before, the day of and day after.
For some reason, as if believing there wouldn’t be
enough beer at the party, we brought our own and
drank in the car.
We were a mess.

Barely dodging car wrecks,
moving swiftly out of the way at the last minute.
And then laughing.
We laughed at death.
We laughed in the face of death,
spat in the face of death and said,
“Not today.”
We thought ourselves to be gods.

We were not gods.
Never would we be gods.
we thought ourselves gods
and we acted accordingly.
And, our entrance to the party had
to be nothing less than

We came through the door
like a raging bull,
blasting into the party
and announcing our arrival.
“Don’t worry,”
we had said in
slurred voices,
“We’ve arrived.”

Most of it from there was blurry,
the entire world
tipping and spinning
with my every step.
The world listened to me
and I commanded it that night: we danced.
Next thing I know I’m on the ground,
burning white light in my eyes.
I felt as if the light would burn me
if I stayed any longer so I
rolled to my side only to
realize that there was
someone next to me.

Anyway, I tried to stand,
the world was still spinning but I
was no longer spinning with it.
Some of my friends were in the room
too. I sighed.
Sometimes I feared that this was it for me.
The high point of my life would be my
reign of terror as the king of the jungle.

To this day I fear that.
I still fear that I’m no better
than I was then and
never will be
because it’s so easy to
get it in your mind that since
change is so hard it’s

As much as I hope I’m
wrong I can’t bring myself
to face my fear
and just grow out of
the “king of the jungle”
I used to be
into the father
I’m supposed to be today.
And when I stood up,
I realized that.

It’s odd that I’d had
the fear all along,
had been to
more parties than I
could count,
and yet this one,
the same as the rest,
had been the breaking point.

Was it just that this party
had been one to many?
Or that the pain in my head
and eyes had been enough
to change me?
Had the idea always been in my
head and I just then chose to
listen to my own thoughts?

It doesn’t matter.
What mattered was that
despite my remaining fear,
despite my inner lion,
despite the feeling like I should
just collapse and
call it quits,
I left, and I’d like to think I changed.

I think maybe telling to you
Hopefully, it ended up having
it didn’t come out how it always had in
my head:
the nonsensical story of a man who was so
scared of change that he changed.

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