Not What You Think

Memories should come sepia-toned, or maybe greyed out, so that the world is less… harsh. Play with the brightness and contrast, and in the end, there are dimly moving shadows humming forgotten songs; they all constitute what we used to do, who we used to be.

When he thinks about lifetimes ago, there are blacks and whites and greys, but also a disturbing red, scarlet, cherry, lurid and angry, fiery and snarling. Blood. Flame. It colors his past and doesn’t seem to ever want to fade into the dull ash that he might be able to live with.

Start out seventeen and without any clue as to who and what you are.

Wake up, a split-second later, ten years gone by, everything dulled by a haze of cheap scotch and cheaper women, but a broken life is never like safety glass. No gummy rounded corners and glittering handfuls of used-to-bes and might’ve-beens.

Memory slices up through the grey fog like shards of mirror that reflect the best and worst of an instant.

He has saved more lives than he’ll ever know.

He’s ended more than he can ever remember.

If you called him a hero, he’d never believe you — he’d say that fool was closer.

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