I CAME UP SHORT
For those who came up short.
For those lacking.
For those with regrets. With a past.
A past filled with things you didn’t understand, things you wished you understood.
A past that haunts you. A past that reminds you of your failures, of where you came up short.
There are things I wished I did differently. There are things I wish I had changed.
My past is filled with regret. With darkness. With a self that I don’t like. A self that I don’t respect. A person that was selfish. A person that didn’t see clearly. A person that neglected what was in front of him.
That past. That past self. I can see him.
I can see his face. I can hear his voice. The words that came out of his mouth. Regretful. All regretful.
A young self. A foolish self. A blind self.
He comes to visit me from time to time. He reminds me of where I came up short. Of where I failed.
He laughs at me. Points his finger at me. Telling me over and over of how I fucked it all up. Of how I didn’t make the cut. Of how I came up short. Of how I failed.
And I cannot change it. I cannot change him. I cannot change those foolish decisions. I cannot go back. I cannot begin again. I cannot make him better. Not him. That man of the past.
That man that couldn’t and wouldn’t man up. That didn’t see. That couldn’t see.
I hate him, that selfish and foolish man.
I stand before him in the darkness of my bedroom. I stare at him. He stares back.
I reach out to touch him but something interesting happens.
My hand goes through him. Through him like a ghost.
I pause. I glance up at him.
He says nothing.
He is not real. Not anymore. That man, that stupid, selfish, and weak man, he holds no substance.
“You are not me,” I say to him. “Not anymore.”
Then I remember. I remember that people change. People grow. People learn.
People get redeemed.
“You cannot stay here with me,” I say to him. “You have to leave.”
He vanishes and I am left alone in my room. I speak.
“I messed up.”
“Yes you did,” a voice replies.
“I was selfish.”
“Yes, you were.”
“I was blind. I wasn’t who I should have been.”
“No, you weren’t.”
““I came up short.”
“Yes, you did.”
Then I stand in silence.
“Now what?” I ask.
“Now,” the voice says. “Now you learn from that man. That man from the past. You change. You grow. You do better. You open your eyes. He cannot stay here. And you, you cannot go back there. So move forward.”
“Just like that?” I ask.
“Just like that,” the voice says.
“I am not worthy,” I say. “I am not good.”
“No,” the voice says. “There is only one who is good. But where you see that man from the past, I see something different.”
“The man of the future.”
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