Paying for it

by Nic Olson

I am a bad father. I can barely care for myself, what with swollen neck glands and a body dripping with sweat throughout the night. A sickness that in some capacity has been gnawing at my throat or sinuses or head seemingly for months. Swollen eyes. Semi-incontinence. Inability to properly function. All caused by selfish dashes across the countryside, hitching rides, sleeping on buses, being a stowaway on cargo planes. Buying hatchets and tarps and giant bags of sunflower seeds while neglecting my first born. My garden.

But that isn’t the only thing I have neglected as of late. My fondness for leisure has taken away from a substantial writing project that I am currently paying money to perfect. My second literary child, one that has grown up sick and weakly and needs special and constant attention, is wheezing in the corner. I have neglected what some might call a purpose of mine, however at this point I likely wouldn’t call it that.

I have also neglected family, friends, work.

I have heard it suggested that a level of selfishness is an admirable thing at my age. That a person must really do what is best for them first in order to achieve goals and break barriers and find themselves. My current physical state appeals this theory. In my attempt at being a wandering soul, in my attempt at living like a twenty-three-year-old, in my attempt to make my life memorable, I have forgot about sleep and sustenance, forgot about my responsibilities that I care for.

Like a bad, addiction-cursed parent, I haven’t even seen my child in two weeks. Through the rain and sun, the weeds and the massive dog trampling everything, I spent my time drinking beer in the hills of the far west. And now I’m paying for it.

Was it worth it?

Yes.

Did I learn something?

Yes.

Then you did alright.

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