I looked up to see a teenage girl in the street, bags scattered around her, her pacing and watching nervously until a vehicle came around the corner, and she threw her things into it and rode away. Several hours passed before it occurred to me that she was probably somebody else's zombie daughter and that I might have made a difference in that life somehow. I might have just opened the door, stepped out into the yard, and asked her, "babe, are you about to make a regrettable choice?" Instead, I'd just watched the whole thing as if in a stupor.
It's the same thing I do most days.
Regrettable choices. How many have there been now?
I'd ask who's counting as if to imply that nobody's counting but somebody is.
Somebody's always keeping score, at least in the game that I'm not even playing.
I'm losing, by the way.
Even though I have the most points.
I saw the girl through the window as I was sitting and staring, wondering what it's like to become a zombie, in fact. Is it a slow fade? Do you snap into it the same way that people snap out of things?
Like, I don't know ... denial, maybe. Sometimes you snap out of that and what you get is a bite of red-hot reality. I'm not really in denial. I just really like the way that last bit sounds and sometimes I say things just because I like the sound of it.
But the real truth is that some parts of reality bite and I am regularly watching in stupefied wonder. There are some situations still not getting better, some people still not coming home. There are some places that I would bleed out if I thought it would make things better but I know better. Knowing better might be making me bitter. Just a bit.
I'm obviously writing mainly for myself now. Except for the others like me. I do know you're out there. I saw your daughter yesterday in front of my house. I'm sorry, so sincerely, that I didn't help her.