Life after...

This is a short fictional piece I wrote a started a few years ago. Felt right to post it here now considering the weekend we are heading into and how "remember the fallen" has grown to include those who fell to their own demons after coming back from war.

I used to be a warrior, I used to me more than this, I used to matter. It's now almost the end of another day.  Put in another eight hours at that job that is well "a job". I have been told more times than I can count that it is a "career path" but I know I'm slowly dying in that place. Ever since I was told that they didn't need me anymore I've been chained to a fuck desk staring at a computer screen full of information I don't care about talking to people I care even less about. Sat in the driveway again for a while staring into the windshield, I'm not sure for how long. Sometimes I do this and I get flashes. Always super fun getting to relive a second of the past that I have been drinking to forget. Thank God this evening wasn't one of those days. Some days though, honestly it is most days, it feels like that's my only few minutes of peace allotted to me. When I came in the house it was chaos as usual, always so loud. The wife trying to tell me of her "struggles and headaches" throughout her day while the kids scream and the television is blaring. I don't say it but I am certain my face screams "I don't care". Getting through dinner was a struggle too. Why can't I ever just sit and eat?

And now it is finally late enough that everyone has shut up. I am again sitting in my chair replaying what ever that thing was last night, night terrors or whatever the doctor called it. It's not the faces that get me, it's the screaming. And at least I didn't accidentally hit her this time. Then there is the sweating and shakes after, along with avoiding all the question, the whole thing is a process to say the least. I remember some things clear as day, like they just happened, and other things I can't remember to save my life. So yet again I sit in my chair, vacant to those around me but still playing my part, still trying to put back together what was me. Some nights she sits with me holding on to part of me like she's try to keep me from drifting off. I know that she knows but all I can do is say sorry. As I sit there, my finger tracing the lip of my glass, I hear myself mutter, "I wish I could decide which memories to remember and which nightmares to forget."

I call this a fictional piece though I, as many of you, have lived many of these portions of the story. I revisit this heading into Memorial Day Weekend because, though I survived this period of my life, some of my friends did not. This weekend I will inevitably find myself staring into space remembering them and will again try not to get lost in those memories.

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