18 November, 2013

The Man Who Stopped Haunting Himself

The Man Who Stopped Haunting Himself

(Written at Agnes Meadows ‘Journeys’ FEDfest workshop.)

I watched as his tiny finger pointed at the large Teddy Bear in the window, I listened to words of anxious protest from the young woman with him and I saw the tears streaming down his little face…

I felt so sad. I felt for the young girl, whom, I so dearly wished I could help. I longed to buy the Teddy Bear, longed to give it to the little chap along with a warm hug. Yet, I was nothing to either of them – nothing but a shadow taking up a doorway space.

For a second the girl glanced in my direction. Quickly, I hid my face – retreating back into almost total darkness…

Tommy, come along! Mummy has to get home now, mummy will be late for work…”

As softly and as calmly her words evaporated in the cold night air I could feel the chill from her heart that escaped from her very soul. I, why did I always think of myself? Why had I not seen the pain of others when I had shared the life they appeared to now be leading? If I had only then felt something – anything – I may never have taken my first drink…

I wanted to reach out – I wanted to make conversation with the girl – re-assure her – tell her that little Tommy would understand when he was older but how could I?

Tears started falling down my cheeks and suddenly warm arms were around my waist. The chill of this December night seemed to penetrate my very bones yet something warm inside had been awakened.

Pulling my overcoat tightly around me, I reached for the bottle of whisky in my left hand coat pocket...the bin was only three steps in front of me.

Antony May 17/11/2013

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