Masks, Scripts, and the past…

It’s a mask, a good one. It’s been perfected over the years, the porcelain, when it does crack is easily filled, and only allowed to crack in moments when it’s protected and safe to take off the mask. Everyone knows that under the apparent solid, stoic appearance is a fragile, confused, hurt, person, moments away from breaking completely. Yet everyone just lets the man behind the mask continue to hide. Almost as if the broken person inside the shell they see is nonexistent. So he continues to fake it, when things don’t go as planned the panic and momentary lapse in the visage overlooked, almost invincible to the eyes of others. It seems that all that is seen by anyone is tenacity and strength; when what should be seen is anger, hurt, sadness, pain, grief, and loss; insecurity plagues him, frustration stops productivity, angst eats away at what remains of this once proud individual.

He cannot fathom life continuing the way it has been the past two years, instead he questions how he is supposed to move past the horror and hell he has lived, some days able to recognize what he has overcome. Others unable to let go of what has gone wrong. His acceptance of this new life refused, as it is not his. Good days are followed by bad, the numbness and tingling of the extremities worsening. The phlegm getting thicker and thicker. The PTSD checked most days, then the day its unchecked a hundredfold worse than before.

This world; is one of confusion, how did he get here? How does one recover? It’s lonely, for he has pushed almost everyone away, as they can not relate, so how could they possibly understand? Trapped in his own mind, he struggles daily to move forward. The constant reminders always dragging him back. Let go people say, let it be; easier said then done, for they have not had two years of life stolen from them. Their memory’s are intact, they don’t have a fractured fragmented timeline that is recorded in journals. They don’t have two years of time where others know more about their life then they do.

He has days where he is able to be in the moment and those don’t go unnoticed, but those in his life are quick to point out that he was back; that it is good to see the old him, smiling, laughing, present; not checked out, writing in a corner of the room; but engaging with others and living rather than dwelling. Those moments however are quickly quashed by the reminder that more that more often then not he is not there, but rather living in the past, for him not distant but current, as the memories of others from two years past are new to him, and don’t fit on the timeline. His life is scripted, when sled what happens it as if he is reading from a manuscript, his tone dull and dry as he recites the day he doesn’t remember and those after to those that still ask.

He wonders most days; will I ever be normal? Is this how life will be for eternity? Will I be able to move on from that day? Will I ever remember the day that changed everything? When will this body I live in Return to something that I recognize? It’s almost as if he has given up, he doesn’t seem to care much more about anything. He is at a point where all that he cares for is his dog and truck. The rest of life trivial. If he should give up would anyone notice? Would anyone actually care?

This mask is heavy, he cares not for it anymore. He doesn’t want to be a burden any longer. He knows it’s his time, and that it’s coming to an ending of sorts. Not exactly what he had hoped for when younger. Then again; it didn’t really matter. It was all just a game in his eyes. A painful game, one where he was always alone. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I make it out of this hell, he thought as he pulled one more drink from the bottle, settling in on the bed, his body doing the weird shit he was so over. Yea tomorrow, if I make it there.



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Joel Jared Ehmann

Joel Jared Ehmann

A Man, A Dog & Their Road to Health | Sleepless inSouth Beacon Hill | Fierce Ramblings of an HIV+ gay male longing the day when the struggle ends & life begin.