Eleven Miles

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Remastered Edition


Confession #2

Shell Out

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I was fighting depression. They say it’s chemical. But for me, it’s always been situational. I was out that day to avoid my pain; in fact, I was trying to obliterate it. Too often I’d tried to succeed at something. Most of the time I failed. Stronger people get up after failing and explore new avenues, seeking alternative paths toward the reward they seek. I wanted that for myself, so I intended to follow their lead. For some reason, I thought jet-skiing would’ve brought me closer to peace, closer to my own personal treasure. Perhaps I was naïve.

Not to sound pathetic, but I was depressed over the continual disappointments I’d faced in life, disappointments over losing my simple hope to find a job that didn’t involve waiting on cheapskates, or finding a parking spot close to my building, for example. It felt like trying to climb the Himalayas with an ice pick while wearing a jogging suit. Sometimes I’d ask myself if I was aiming too high, but I realized that sometimes asking the mailman for punctuality was aiming too high.

For two years I gave up on life’s simple things and cried every chance I got, no longer expecting any satisfaction. I mean, if I couldn’t even expect a neighbor to hold the elevator door open for me whenever I’d race for it . . .

My therapist used to tell me that life was just life, and that there was nothing unusual about mine. And I guess to some extent that was true. But my therapist had problems of his own. Like, there was one day he entered his office with a cup of coffee in hand and dark bags under his red eyes. I asked him if everything was okay, and he just sort of nodded and sipped his drink. Before I could challenge him, he countered by asking how I was doing. That’s when I cried again.

I wish it were possible for me describe my state before the crisis began, but I was so foggy in those days that I can’t remember all the details. I do recall the smiles being present at times and that I’d occasionally anticipate the next day of existence, but somewhere along the line, all of that faded. Sometimes I believe my blatant irresponsibility was what had brought me to my low point, but I’m sure it had more to do with my heart shattering after I’d found out the guy I loved had a secret life.