The Next Thing
Or perhaps I've just added the horror of poverty to all the other horrors.
I don't know how to judge. I only know that I ache with sickness, the horror of a life of accumulated shame and doubt and fear. I feel certain tonight that this clutch around my heart will never ease.
It's good I guess to be brought face to face with it -- this grimacing creature that's mocked me all my life, scoffing my state and grinning at my pomp. I guess. Or maybe I should never have looked up.
But. Get a grip, Dale. The truth of the matter is -- it's not that bad, either way. And it doesn't last that long. It's just one moment, and then another, and then another. It's okay. The clutch eases in fact quite frequently. Only once did it stay for long, and that was long ago and far away.
At this point, kiddo, the best thing to do is walk straight into it. What else is there? After all, this is what you've always longed to do: to shatter everyone's expectations, to fail spectacularly in every particular. So do it. Fail.
But not as a slave. Don't fail that way. Fail as a free human being.
Just do the next thing. Even if that is what you used to tell yourself when you paused by the windows at IBM, having wasted half a day, taking a deep breath before going back to your cubicle to waste the other half. It was good advice then, even if you couldn't take it. It's good advice now. Do the next thing.