Gale of Regret

I’m one of the last few people at the bar again, my head slack in one hand, the other gripping my whiskey. I’m so tired. I can feel the weight behind my eyes, heavy on my face. If only I had just gone home sooner.

I had never wanted to stay home. I ran as soon as I got the chance. And now I’m sprinting back, as if that will make up for my early departure.

I remember the days we yelled at each other. We weren’t a broken pair. I was young and he was harsh. He pushed me because he loved me. But I didn’t want his motivation. It wasn’t mine, it was his. And so I fled. I left him. I left them. It was enough to make me run away. I couldn’t stay there anymore, in that beat up, broken down old house. I had seen enough sunrises, wasted enough cloudy days in the fields. I needed to be somewhere new, somewhere they couldn’t find me. Somewhere they couldn’t force their motivation on me. I needed to find myself, my own motivation. And when I stopped running, I met the love of my life, even though she doesn’t know it.

I remember hearing the news on the TV, and it barely crossed my mind, what it could mean for me. For him. Until I got the call. My beautiful, strong mother. Alone.

My strong-willed father. Gone. Off to war. He’d already done his time.

I should have been there. I couldn’t even take his place. I can’t tell him what I have accomplished without him. Not without him, just without his pushing. He was always in mind. He became my motivation. The driving force behind what I thought I needed to do for myself.

And now he’s gone.

I loosen my fingers from the glass, slide off the stool. And I go. I keep running. Except this time, I’m coming home.

 

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Gale Song.

Side note: It’s been so nice to get back into any sort of writing that isn’t academic. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to write, to tell the unwritten story of someone sitting inside my head.

I have grown a new appreciation for The Lumineers because so many of their songs inspire me to write scenes that appear in my head because of their ballads. Truly inspiring. Even if it’s nothing special or dripping with talent, I feel like I am liberating someone that has been pressing on my mind, desperate to get out. To be heard. To be understood. It feels good.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

Blackened Ledbetter Riffs

It’s been a crazy few days with the full moon. But today ended better than yesterday. Yesterday exploded into chaos, but today I took care of myself. It’s interesting how just a simple nighttime routine can make you feel like you have some part of your life together.

I watched Jenna Marbles/Mourey tonight, and she shared 30 life lessons she learned by her 30th birthday, and while some of it was sarcastic or funny, parts of it had really good life advice that I think I needed to hear.

“Whatever you don’t like about your body, just try to come to peace with it… Just wait because maybe the world just isn’t ready for your beauty.”

As a struggling college student, this has never been more appropriate in my life. I’ve always been skinny fat, and then I started putting on muscle and I changed my diet, and then I went to college and put on the 15, and ever since I have just been battling myself to get back to where I was. I’m not fat, I’m just not as twig skinny as I used to be. I honestly just haven’t been nice to myself. I’ve become too impatient, expecting the weight to just fall off, and I always beat myself up when I’m feeling bloated. It’s even interfering with the gym, which doesn’t make sense. So I will try to be more patient, while also sticking to a healthy diet and routine.

“Try not to use the word regret, but instead say ‘I did the best I could for myself at the time’.”

This one sunk right through to my heart. I don’t have too many regrets in my life, but I hope to never forget this advice in the future. The first thing that came to mind was an ex. But it’s true, I did the best I could for myself at that time. I needed to get away from him. Maybe I didn’t go about it the right way, but it’s done and I think I’m in a better place because of it. Things happen for a reason.

Speaking of which, karma is real and it’s kicking my ass for something, and I think I know what it is.

If you don’t know, my grandparents live with me and my mom and dad. I don’t mind Grandma (though her toy poodle can be annoying), but I do not like my grandfather. It’s the side of the family we don’t really see, and we’ve had a shaky past, so we weren’t exactly off to a great start. But he is just so expectant of my mother and of his wife. He’s not very thankful. He thinks he’s going to get better, at 80 years old. He thinks very highly of himself and very poorly of – it seems – everyone else. Some of his own kids think he’s a pain in the ass. Some of them don’t even want to see him, and I don’t blame them.

For the past two years, I have seen his health deteriorate. I have watched him go from shuffling through the house, to being wheelchair-bound, to being basically bedridden. And each time he gets worse, I just keep hoping it’s the end. It has been such a stress on my mom, the caretaker, 24/7. (Luckily, some of her siblings help out from time to time.) It has caused tension between my parents. It has shattered my sense of home.

I always feel in the way. When I come home, suddenly there’s no room in the fridge. I’ve stopped putting ice in my drinks because our ice machine is slow enough that my dad already has to go to the store at least once a week just to get an extra bag. I can’t park in my driveway anymore because it’s a shorter walk for grandma. I make breakfast and then disappear to my room so they can have the TV because Grandpa can’t move from his chair. We moved my cat’s food so the dog wouldn’t get to it. I don’t talk to my mom while she gets ready for bed anymore because I know she’s just too tired during the week. I have to dodge the chairlift, most annoyingly when I’m carrying packed bags.

It’s just not home anymore.

And maybe that’s a good thing, so I can move on. Time will tell.

But because of this whirlwind of shit, I keep wishing Grandpa will die soon. I’m not exactly proud to say it, but it’s true. And it’s just what I wish. I know I shouldn’t wish death upon anyone, but I feel no remorse.

And karma knows it. And that’s why it’s kicking my ass.

I’m not going to proclaim to be a better person. I have no plans to take it back, because I know it won’t help at this point. I also know I wouldn’t mean it. I just think it takes more to be honest in this situation.

Maybe karma will reward me for that later.