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Published:March 15th, 2008 05:48 EST
Pages from the Diary of: Darryl Thompson

Pages from the Diary of: Darryl Thompson

By Rex Owen Waide, Jr.

Nov. 2, 1954 Sunday

I once knew a man who described the efficiency of sleep in terms of literature. A well rested night was a satisfying novel written by your favorite author. I used to think about this as I laid in bed trying to fall to a deep novel-slumber. Unfortunately, these days have brought me less than a short story, a less determined, less dedicated act of imaginary story-telling. In my recent nights, I have been associated with coffee-shop poetry by lame college kids who believe they are the next Shakespeare, or God forbid, the next Lord Alfred Tennyson. It seems worth mentioning at this point that I have not been a good mood lately because of my lack of sleep, which comes, if at all, in two or three hour blocks.

I fell asleep late last night, around ten o`clock, hoping to fall to a sleep worthy of a novel by one of my favorites (Hemingway or Bierce), but found myself stirring to consciousness at a little before twelve; only given a glimpse at that coffee-house poetry I have a tendency to loathe so much. It`s hard for me to attribute my novel-less-sleep to a particular aspect of my life seeing as how it has plagued me so much in the past year. If I had to take a guess, a shot at the roulette table if it pleases you, then I would have to peg it down to three things.

One being guilt. I cannot fathom the degree of pain I have caused, willingly or otherwise, to the people in my life. Most times I fail to notice when I am being a rude, pompous imbecile. It has come so far that I have evolved as a perpetual abuser and user of the people around me. Perhaps I am beginning to believe I am really that kind of person? I can`t say for sure at this point. But I can say that I am not that horrible person that intends to break a heart, crack an image, or destroy a friend`s confidence. I always thought I would amount to so much more as a person "emotionally and spiritually, of course.

My second assumption directed toward my insomnia is pain. Name a pain and I have felt it and still probably deal with it. Like they say in NA (that`s Narcotics Anonymous, not Not Applicable), the best word a troubled person can use is Deal. The problem with that is not the criterion to use that word. Hell, I have been through addiction and emotional distress just as much as the next group of filthy degenerates waiting to be born. What ails me in this aspect is the fact that I cannot take that word of advice and counsel. Deal? I can barely deal with my life as it was five years ago when things were picture perfect, suitable for a Disney Channel Movie. Now "now things are much different. Physical pain, emotional pain, and the dreaded, cursed, and unforgiving mental pain. I used to deal with them the wrong way, lots and lots of pills, but that was the only way I knew that would always help. At least temporarily. And now I am left to fend these broken seams of my life`s cloth without the aid of a support structure that understands the agony and anguish that I have inflicted upon myself in more ways than one. Being a bad person to the two women that I loved dearly. Yes, if you haven`t guessed by now, they both left. One because of my actions and behavior; the other, because of my past addiction to help me cope (that method of pills down my throat got me nowhere) and her own choices of recent. I hold no grudges for either. I still love them immensely, and wish them to best. Also, friends. You come across one or two friends throughout your entire lifetime that will offer their blood to save you an ounce of worry or sadness. Fortunately for me I came across four of them. The two women previously mentioned, a friend from elementary (we were like brothers for a long time), and a recent friend. You know the circumstances with the women. The elementary friend "I cannot specifically say how that turned down an ugly road, but I know it was my actions. I can probably pinpoint the action, but that is an entry for another flow of the pen. And, alas, we come to the most recent of my "I guess you can call him a victim of my manipulation and torment. As much as I enjoy the time his friendship has offered, when I need a support structure that can hold the weight of bricks with me he can "t be there. I`m not asking for a comedian or bystander to give or get a high-five from on my way to Rock Bottom. That support seems as hollow as a balloon in the mid-summer afternoon sun. But I also know that it has become a façade-friendship, which too is my fault.

Lastly, the most gruesome of the three, my Will, has fallen, faded. They say you can measure a person`s success by viewing his past and where that has taken him. Wow, how the mighty has fallen. Progressively, or regressively, my life has strung out in turmoil. Went from an honor student to a meat head in my first couple years in high school, then to a shallow, sorrowful, pitiful, Vicodin junkie that couldn`t give two cents worth his own life. If my future success, if you can even call it that, is reminiscent of my life as of yet, then I have a long road ahead of me. And most of it is up a steep road paved with the ashes of the people I`ve burned. I can walk through those ashes and sing the song the sorrow sings; or, I can choose to dance on those ashes in hopes I can resurrect a life or two.

These three dogmatic views of my life keep my sleep from being novel-like and making it a coffee-house poem. As I mentioned, how I hate that poetry!

The day continues whether or not I have slept like a novel or poem, and so do my dogmatic views circle my head like a vulture. I am constantly reminded of the faults and choices I have made to burn my life to ashes with every move I make. Every book I absorb has a reminding metaphor. Every movie or show has a selfish, pathetic character that could never rival my actions. Every minute speck of dust swirling in the air when the white light of morning shines on it floats like the memories I have to live with. Mary Hendrickson was hanged for committing patricide. At her trial before being hung, she spoke the only words that echo in my head when I think things could ever get better " I was born alive. Isn`t that punishment enough? " Indeed, my life was not always this troublesome, in fact at many points it was stellar; but with every extreme high comes an utter low. So my quote in response to Ms. Hendrickson is this, I was born to live a long life regardless of my pain. That, and only that, is justified punishment. "

I must not fret, for in death I will finally get to sleep that novel-sleep. It will be the never-ending-novel of sleeps.