He pours a store bought frozen meal out of its tray, onto a clean plate. The plate isn’t necessary. It is there to remind him of a home cooked meal, to remind him of a time when someone thought of him enough to make him one, and he did not bare all the burdens. There was a time, when life was a little more than a microwaved meal. It was more than a moment’s rest on a worn couch, awaiting responsibility to call his name. There was a time, when he got kisses and laughter in return for his labor, when he got to delve into his imagination and pretend to be the wondrous tickle monster. The giggles his love stole are now stored away as distant memories. All that is remaining is the memory of a happier life, these memories, buried under the consumption of practicality, responsibility, and hopelessness. He was dragged into a cycle that seemingly begins from nowhere and awaits a seemingly unknowable uncontrollable end.
I, with wondering eyes, watch this creature of habit. My brain is entwined with maybes and whys, and I sense the end is the goal for far too many men.