When the news surfaced it hit me like a bomb blast. A bomb should
come as a surprise. It carries with it a shock designed to
obliterate all within its ring of destruction.
Any good bomb must be deliverable without harm to the deliverer,
must destroy all witnesses, and must do so reliably on demand. I had
been living at ground zero. . . . apparently for years while the
bomb was under construction.
The bomb detonated right after Christmas with the utterance of
three words. "I love ****" "(a name - not mine - that shall not be
mentioned again) began the chain reaction. It was the first shock
wave that set the destructive process in motion.
I stood helpless without warning as the detonation flash lit up
the landscape of my soul casting long short lived shadows of the
demons I would wrestle for years to come.
The blaring warning sirens were drowned out by the echoing sound
of the familiar crashing into brilliant, explosive oblivion. Though
the sirens blared, I was numbed by the light and stood transfixed in
The flash past, shadows waned, and pieces of reality fell to new
positions all around me. To the eye, nothing had changed. Everything
looked the same. We were still sitting in the same room. wearing the
same clothes, living in the same day and time. Yet everything was
affected, everything was different. A blast had occurred!
Without notice or invitation, rolling with merciless speed and
efficacy, unleashed radiation silently and unfelt passed through my
spirit burning through every cell and tissue without resistance.
As my mind worked through its stupor, an instinct of survival
caused me to hobble clumsily toward a mental bomb shelter long ago
forgotten. I found its old doors unlocked and dropped dutifully
inside to await an uncertain tomorrow. "Why am I here? I don't want
to be here!" my self complains to itself. But there I sit knowing
it's the right thing to do but not without protest.
Like the changing of seasons as dependable as time, my thoughts
collect. I'm accustomed to my mind and have come to rely on it.
Though certainly harmed... still I am, and the world endures. As I
check myself out, my life is still in me though confined by the
shelter. I reach up and out in my thoughts to return to the
When opened, the doors of the shelter give way to the suns
familiar light... maybe it's OK to venture forth. I know this sun.
It's kept me warm and brought me life always. My friend and savior
is dependable... he is the dawn. The dawn of promise, a new day has
begun. I need to have life and I'll follow this sun.
The doors flank my sides as I climb the old dusty stairs. Fresh
air awaits me as I rise up to the light. All I know is what I
remember. My mind places the template of memory upon what I am about
to see. I warn myself that nothing will be the same. Hope answers
that surely something familiar will remain.
Standing on the little ground that supports my modest shelter, I
soon realize that the shelter is all I have left. Canyons replace
cities, caverns the homes, burned out and desolate, the world is
gone. Nothing is unaffected.
"The barn stood over there" and "my house used to be over there"
I'll be saying for years to come to strangers new to my life. Gone,
all gone is my life to this day as I knew it... the things that
The grief is unconscionable.
Only the passing of time can assuage the painful mental triggers
that were once a mosiac of unending joy... joint memories of our
children playing, planning the future, and hoping for better things
Though this weren't too much to bear, like clockwork PHASE TWO
hits the air. The present shares its revelations playing havoc with
the past. I'm still alive and feeling and have no choice but to
endure the coming torture.
Thought by thought, the past is sifted with the present. The
blast that should have killed me left its silent radioactive
messenger to finish the work. Each memory is painfully contaminated.
The molecular integrity of my most precious thoughts is violated as
the cellular walls breakdown.
My inner most personhood decays into a noxious slime. I've become
some kind of putrid mental soup where once was strong meat and
bones. The torment of my own history is at work. Both for my
destruction and protection. Time passes and I relive each precious
moment of memory only to have it re-assigned with my determined
future. A lifetime of re-engineering my mental catalog to insure
survival. No anesthetic... just do it or loose it.
Forced into a mold not of my own design, I am diminished as I
submit. Surely, many greater than I have endured and triumphed
unfortunately similar circumstances. Who am I to complain? Why have
I even written this? For your eyes? Kind reader, life need not be so
for you. Please flee love before it's too late. I wouldn't want
anyone to go through this.