Melancholy Refrain

It will never be
Don’t feel sorry for me
I will see it through
Always thinking of you

I will never cry
Always wondering why
What I dreamed of then
Wasn’t there in the end

Had to let it go
For reasons I’ll never know
Felt so cold inside
The only place to reside

Empty promises
Forever sealed with a kiss
In the end was lain
A melancholy refrain


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

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Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 9)

“What the hell happened?” she asked in a stern but quiet voice, so her parents couldn’t hear what exactly was being said. “Tom and Bryan called me in a panic Saturday night and told me they found you in the driveway, on top of your car. They said they couldn’t wake you up no matter what they did and that you would start twitching and jerking like you were having some kind of convulsion and then go still again.”

“So you found me out there?”

“No, they did. By the time I got here, it couldn’t have been more than five minutes later, you had apparently gotten up and went inside. You were on your bed when I found you. I figured you must have gotten up and moved yourself there. You weren’t twitching or anything. It just looked like you were sleeping, but I couldn’t get you to wake up or respond to anything. Your face was all pale and you looked terrible. You still do…but you look better than you did. At least you have some color back. The house was in shambles. I cleaned it up while mom and dad were heading up here. They would be even more ticked than they are right now if they had seen it that way –at you and at me – I was supposed to make sure you were staying out of trouble. I guess I didn’t do a very good job. Anyway, I hung around here to keep an eye on you until I had to go to work. I guess you were gone when mom and dad got here.”

“Yeah, I had to get something to eat. They were here when I got back.”

“Sorry that I called mom and dad, but I had to. I was worried about you. I still am. They left right after I called them. If I had known you’d be up and about like you are now…”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s all good.”

“You know they’re taking you with them when they go back.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s cool. I want to get away from here…I need to.”

“Is everything okay? Are you in any trouble or danger? What the hell happened?”

“No. Everything is fine. At least it is now. Things just got out of control a little bit…I got out of control. I really don’t want to talk about it. I want to forget it ever happened. I’ll never let it happen again.” Karen could tell by the way he said it, he meant it. She knew her little brother well.

There was a short pause. Karen was about to say something, but Paul spoke first. “Karen…I think I almost died…I almost killed myself.” His voice was trembling. “I don’t know how I didn’t…” Karen hugged her little brother. He started sobbing on her shoulder. Karen couldn’t help but do the same.

Once they both regained their composure, Karen looked Paul dead in the eyes and said sternly, yet gently at the same time “I know you said you want to, but I don’t think you should ever forget what happened – whatever it was. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine, but don’t ever forget it happened.” Paul nodded his head. “Give me a few minutes to talk with mom and dad, Okay?”

“Sure. Thanks.” As Karen turned to leave, Paul stopped her. “Karen, can you do me a favor?”

“Sure. What is it?”

I probably won’t see Bryan or Tom before I leave. Can you explain to them…all this?”

“Of course I will.”

Karen hugged her brother again and left the room, closing the door quietly behind her. Paul could hear her talking to their parents, but like earlier, couldn’t make out what was actually being said; only this time he was certain he was the topic of the discussion. Shortly after he heard their conversation go silent, there was a knock at his bedroom door. When Paul opened it, his dad was standing right outside the doorway. “Okay” he said “We won’t talk about it. I’ll give you this one. Can you have your clothes packed in an hour or two? We don’t want to leave too late. It’s a long drive.”

“An hour is fine.” Paul told his dad. His dad nodded and started to turn away. “Dad?”

“Yes, son.”

“I’m…I’m sorry.” Paul’s voice trembled as the words left his mouth. His dad hugged him and for the second time that morning Paul began to cry uncontrollably. His dad held him until he could tell Paul had recomposed himself.

As Paul and his parents pulled out of the driveway, he wondered if he would return with them when his dad’s temporary work assignment had completed. “Only if it feels right” he thought to himself. Paul knew he had been lucky. He thought “If there really is a God, he must be watching over me for some reason.” Paul knew that for whatever reason, he had been given a second chance. He was determined not to blow it.

 

The End.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 8)

Paul was still so exhausted that he nearly fell over getting out of his car. As he was walking toward the front door he felt like if he didn’t lie down again soon, he was going to pass out. The last thing he expected when he walked into the house was to see his mom and dad sitting on the couch in the living room, yet there they were. To Paul, it seemed surreal. “Hi son” His dad said as their eyes met. Paul didn’t know how to interpret the emotion in his dad’s voice.

“Hi. What are you guys doing here?”

“Well, your sister called us. She was concerned about you; and so are we.”

“There’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s all good. You didn’t need to drive all this way to rescue me. I’m fine.” That’s what Paul wanted to say at first, but he hesitated and said what he was really feeling instead. “You should be.”

“We’re taking you back with us.”

“Good. When are we leaving?”

Paul’s father was taken aback by that reply. He had expected some resistance, maybe even an ensuing argument. After a slight hesitation, he said “Tomorrow morning, after you have your things packed.”

Paul processed that, pausing for just a moment, and said “Okay. I’d like to go to bed now.

“Don’t you think we should talk about all this?” his dad asked.

Paul’s reply was wearily stated “No…Not ever. I just want to get out of here for a while…to clear my head…get my shit together.” It was the first time Paul could recall swearing in front of his parents, outside of telling a joke. He wasn’t sure how it would be received, and really didn’t care, with the way he felt. It just seemed appropriate – bluntly accurate. “I really need to go to bed now if you don’t mind. I need to sleep.” His dad was confused but nodded his head. He could tell that Paul was not trying to be rebellious or argumentative but was truly exhausted. He looked like he was about to keel over right there. He wanted to know what was going on but he knew now was not the time to ask for the answer. Paul went into his bedroom and quietly closed the door. Stripped himself down to his underwear and climbed between the bed sheets. He couldn’t believe how good his bed felt. He was asleep a few seconds later.

When Paul awoke Monday morning, he could hear his parents talking to someone. Listening closer, he could tell it was Karen. He couldn’t hear what they were saying exactly, but the conversation sounded like it was a bit heated. He guessed that he was most likely the main topic. He started to put on the clothes he had thrown on the desk chair the night before, but realizing he had worn those same clothes for the past couple days and seeing the sweaty  salt stains on the shirt, he changed his mind and put on a fresh pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt. He combed his hair the best he could, which is to say, not very well at all. He had let it grow out to near shoulder length during high school and without washing it since Friday morning, it had become a dirty, tangled mess. Still, he tried to make it look the best it could before he went out to talk with his parents. He didn’t want to talk about this with them or anyone else, ever; but he knew it was inevitable. The conversation between Karen and Paul’s parents came to an abrupt halt when Paul stepped out into their view. There was dead silence and everyone was frozen, as if somebody had hit a pause button on a remote. Breaking the stillness and silence, Karen got up from the couch and walked quickly across the room, turned to her parents and said “let me talk to him.” She grabbed Paul’s arm, pulled him back into his room, and closed the door.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 7)

Even though he had just woken up, Paul felt exhausted. He knew one or two of the yellow jackets he had in a baggie in his top dresser drawer would pep him right back up again. He thought about it for a minute or two, went and got the baggie, carried it into the bathroom and flushed them down the toilet. His headache was still there, but very much subdued; tolerable, but just barely. He knew some Aspirin or Tylenol would probably help, but Paul wanted nothing to do with drugs of any kind – not even ones that were over the counter. He was done with it; or at least he wanted to be. Paul knew this was going to be tough. His party friends were sure to come by in the coming days. Would he be able to turn them away? He had had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends, finally felt accepted within a large group. But at what cost? It wasn’t worth it, he realized. He had two great friends in Tom and Bryan – the best. He knew they’d always be there for him, if humanly possible, through anything. Why would he want any more than that? He knew he had parents and a sister who loved him, even though in retrospect, they should have never left town and left him alone; and she should have watched over him more closely. But then again, he did a good job of keeping the extremity of what he was doing concealed from everyone. No. This was his situation, created by himself and nobody else. He needed to learn to appreciate the people in his life. But above all else, right now, he needed to find a way to make changes in his life. He needed to get away from all the temptation that he was sure would be around in the days and weeks, maybe months to come.  He needed to get away somehow. If he could do that, he could work the rest out.

As Paul thought about all this walking out of his bedroom, he couldn’t help but notice how good the house looked despite how long it had been since he straightened anything up. Even the dishes were done – he couldn’t remember the last time he actually did the dishes. Once they were all dirty, he just kept rewashing the same pot to cook Kraft macaroni and cheese in and eating it right out of the pot. Thinking of food suddenly made Paul realize how famished he was. He thought about how long it had been since he had eaten anything – two days at least. He still felt exhausted, like he could collapse at at any second, but he knew he had to get something in his stomach. He grabbed his keys and drove down to a local greasy spoon, 24-hour hamburger place – the kind of place that was always packed when the bars closed or after a good party. At this time of the day however, the place was nearly desolate. The only other customer was a middle aged guy sitting on a barstool at the counter propping his head up in his cupped hands with a half-eaten burger, a half finished cup of coffee, and a half smoked cigarette in an ashtray in front of him. Paul sat down at a booth. When the waitress came over, he ordered two burgers, an order of fries and a tall glass of water. After finishing his meal, Paul paid the bill at the register and drove home. As he pulled into the driveway, he didn’t notice that his dad’s car was parked across the street.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 6)

Paul awoke, disoriented and confused. It took him a few moments to gather his thoughts and realize where he was. He wondered how he got here. What was the last thing he remembered?

The pain…Dying in pain…Wanting to just die…Wanting to kill himself to end the pain…Immobilizing pain…Dying…

The pain was still there, but not nearly as bad. Not so bad that he couldn’t move. He crawled slowly down from the hood of his car and started walking towards the front door of his house. Every step he took made his head pound like somebody was slamming the sides of both fists against the sides of his head. For that moment, as much as it was barely tolerable, Paul loved that feeling – it meant that he was alive; that he didn’t die. He wondered how long he had been lying out here on his car. It was still dark, he reasoned, so it couldn’t have been that long, four or five hours maybe. The sun would be coming up soon. He still felt exhausted and dizzy, and his head was starting to feel worse again, now that he was up and moving. He knew he needed to get in the house and lie down. As he walked in the living room, he glanced at the clock to see what time it was. It showed a little bit past ten…but that didn’t make any sense. He had left for the party with Tom and Bryan around ten-thirty that night; if it was ten in the morning, the sun should be out. He stumbled into the kitchen to check a different clock. It showed the same time. Paul suddenly realized that it wasn’t early Saturday morning. The sun wasn’t coming up in an hour or two; it had already risen and set again. It was Saturday night – he had been sleeping on the hood of his car for nearly twenty-four hours – and he was still so exhausted he felt like he was going to collapse on the spot. He was also parched beyond belief, like someone had sucked all the fluids out of him. He realized his clothes were soaked in sweat. He felt his lips and could tell they were chapped and cracked with pieces of dried up dead skin hanging on them. Going into a panic, he grabbed the first tall glass he saw – an unwashed one on top of a pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink – and filled it with cold tap water. He drank it down in two seconds. Then he drank a second…and a third…and a fourth. He staggered to his bedroom and crawled on top of his bed still wearing his sweat soaked clothes and closed his eyes. Just as he was starting to go under, he heard a knock at the front door and a voice. He could tell it was Karen. “Hey Paul, are you there? Is everything alright?” That was the last thing Paul remembered when he woke up Sunday evening.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 5)

Realizing he had a nearly endless supply of speed and with the almost non-supervision from his sister, Paul started using the yellow jackets more frequently and sometimes in greater quantity. Every night he would have either his friends or the two brothers down the street come over, smoking pot and drinking into all hours of the night. Paul realized that as long as he provided the place, he hardly had to buy anything – only every now and then – which worked out well for him since the only income he had was his part-time job and the money his parents would send him to buy food (he used very little of it to actually buy food). He also realized that with the yellow jackets he could party as late as he wanted, go to all the parties he heard about, and he could still be alert in school and get enough of his homework done to make sure he at least passed his classes so he could graduate. He was hardly sleeping at all.

When Paul’s parents came back for his graduation ceremony, Paul made sure the house was all straightened up and that everyone knew to not come by for a few days, until his parents had left again. He also made sure he didn’t take any of the speed while they were there. His parents had a graduation party for him the day after the actual ceremony. It was really small compared to most of the bashes he had been to recently. There was beer there for the adults. Paul and his friends weren’t old enough to drink, but Paul’s parents looked the other way when Paul would grab a bottle for himself or one of his friends. They drank them out of sight, in the garage, where they also smoked numerous joints.

Even though he felt tired because of his lack of sleep the past couple months, and not having his yellow jackets to pick him up, Paul was surprised by how much he actually enjoyed himself while his parents were there. He thought that maybe he should stop all the heavier partying he had been doing lately. Before leaving again, Paul’s dad told him that his job relocation should be wrapped up in another few months and then they’d be back for good. He left with Paul’s mom, returning to their temporary residence hundreds of miles away. Once they were gone, Paul forgot about everything he had ever thought about slowing down.

Although not as frequent, there were still good parties to go to on most of the weekends following graduation. If he heard of one, Paul would go. If there wasn’t one to go to, Paul would just party at his house with his friends or the brothers from down the street. It was great when they came over because they always had pot, hash, or opium to smoke and they were always willing to share it. Plus, being years older than Paul and his just out of high school friends, they were legally able to buy beer and booze at the nearby party stores, for themselves or anybody else who had the money and wanted some. Paul knew that at least one of the brothers had shot up heroin in the past – he thought that was crazy; “how could anyone stick a needle in their arm?” Plus, from what he had heard, you were pretty out of it when you did heroin and it could be really easy to overdose on it if you weren’t careful. Paul knew how to be careful with the yellow jackets. Even though he didn’t need them to keep up with schoolwork anymore, he was still taking them every day, throughout the day, because he liked the way they made him feel. They gave him a great buzz and seemed to intensify everything else he did with them for the better, especially if he took two or three of them. He didn’t need anything else, and it was all perfectly under control.

Just before leaving for the party he had been at the night he ended up on the hood of his car, Paul was trying to remember if he had taken three or four yellow jackets. This would possibly be one of the last post-graduation bashes – he hadn’t heard of any others coming up – and possibly the biggest of the summer. Paul wanted to make the best of it. To be sure he took at least four – if it happened to be five, no big deal – he swallowed one more down before Bryan, Tom and he chugged a couple beers and left his house.

They were at the party only a short while when Paul felt the headache coming on. At first, he tried to ignore it, but it intensified quickly. Bryan and Tom had wandered off somewhere and he had found himself standing in a group with four or five other guys he had never met before. They were all talking about music and bands they liked and passing around a joint. Paul couldn’t remember if it was one of his or one of theirs. He found it hard to think of anything except how badly his head was starting to hurt. A sharp, stabbing pain like no other headache he had ever had before. He knew there was something wrong. He turned and walked away from the group, towards the door, heading for home.

“Hey man, aren’t you going to finish it? You just lit it up.”

Paul didn’t reply. He just walked out the front door, got in his car and started driving home. The next thing he knew, he was curled up in a fetal position, on the hood of his car in his driveway, immobilized by the pain.

The pain.

It was all Paul could think about before he lost consciousness.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig

Epiphany Wrapped in Yellow (Part 4)

In the springtime before graduation, Paul was involved in a serious car accident near his house. It wasn’t his fault. The other car ran a red light and t-boned Paul’s car on the driver’s side, totaling both cars. Paul was hurt, but not as badly as you would have expected, seeing the condition of his car – only a concussion and some badly bruised ribs. Still, it did land him in the hospital for a few days. While he was there, the night nurse sparked up a conversation with Paul. She asked him why he was there. He told her about the accident and where it happened. “That’s right near where I live!” she blurted out. They discovered that they lived only a few blocks from each other. During one of their last conversations before he was discharged, they somehow got on the topics of parties and drinking and drugs. She asked him if he had ever done speed before. He admitted to her that he had and told her about the yellow jackets. Paul was a little surprised when she asked him how much he paid for them but when he told her what they cost him per pill, what she asked him next really surprised him. “Do you think you could get me some?”

“Ummm…Like, how many?”

“I don’t know…fifty or so.”

Paul told her he didn’t know, “but I can find out for you.” He checked out of the hospital with her phone number in his pocket. After he had her number, before checking out, Paul asked her if she might want to go out sometime. Even though she was a bit older than he was, he thought she was really cute and felt he needed to take a shot, since he had her number now. Maybe that was her plan all along. Although she was nice about it she quickly shot him down by telling him she had a fiancé. Paul was glad that she didn’t take offense at him asking. Actually, he thought she seemed to be kind of flattered by it.

Paul knew that it was cheaper to buy a bag of weed than to buy just a joint, so when he caught up with Valerie, he asked her if she would be able to get him fifty yellow jackets and if it would be any cheaper to buy that many.

“It would be half” Valerie told him and added “I can get you a hundred if you want.”

A little light went off in Paul’s head. He could sell the nurse fifty yellow jackets for the price he told her and keep the other half for himself. No more worrying about having the money to buy them; at least not for a while.

“Sure. Get me a hundred of them.”

Since he now had a good supply, Paul started taking the yellow jackets somewhat regularly. He really liked the boost they gave him, especially when he took two of them. The nurse was apparently just as pleased with them – a couple weeks later, she asked Paul if she could get fifty more. Valarie was able to hook him up with another hundred and told him she could probably get him that many every couple weeks if he needed her to. This all happened just before Paul’s dad took the temporary job assignment and his parents moved out of state, leaving Karen to watch over him. His parents bought him a replacement car so he could get around while they were away. It was a beater, but better than nothing. Nobody had a clue into what Paul was getting into. He even kept it hidden from his two best friends.


Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig