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Where Did The Time Go?

 

I really don’t recall how it all began,

My mother told me I was eight pounds ten ounces when I came out.

From then on it was all uphill, learning to walk, and then talk,

Colors, tastes, sights and sounds, everything was new and exciting.

Every flower, tree, and bug sucked me into a fresh adventure.

Ah, it  seems like I’m watching myself  though a deep fog,

A toddler once again, playing with delight in the twilight of my life.

 

But then came, what I call, the tender years of cruel rejection,

Awkward years misspent in confusion, 

When teens ganged up on me for no good reason,

Asserting their superiority for all to see, jealous bullies one and all.

It lasted far too long for my liking,

Leaving me with little confidence and a trembling fear of the future.

When it ended, I buried the trust I had in others under a blanket of sorrow.

 

By the time I reached thirty, I had no illusions,

I was wholly committed to self-survival.

Realizing that nobody cared for me like I did,

I became mean-spirited.

My best defense became an acerbic offense, sinister and sarcastic,

I took pleasure in tongue-lashing anyone who questioned my veracity.

The world became dark and lonely,

A foreboding place where I felt abandon and had to fight to survive.

Yet I had youth on my side, so it all seemed doable.

 

Some years later, my courage faltered, my limbs became numb,

My life became a drudgery filled with responsibility and commitments.

There were times it seemed too boring to bear.

The more I tried, the more morose I became, 

Every step caused me to stumble over someone or something that stood in my way.

Yet,  I struggled to keep up with the Joneses.

When I failed, I convinced myself  they had a distinct advantage.

Or was it something I told myself, … so I wouldn’t grow old hating myself. 

 

Lamenting the soulful memories of my shrouded past,

I feel compelled to ask, … was I really me back then,

Or some lost soul searching for significance,

Desperately looking for a purpose,

Sometimes through love, other times through work,

But most of all through relationships that never lasted.

 

Carrying more baggage than I can handle,  beset by broken marriages,

Wayward children, and unfulfilled yearnings, 

And mentally exhausted from avoiding the pitfalls of a chaotic world  –

Rife with the mendacity of opportunist mesmerized by their own self importance,

My heart bleeds out before my eyes.

Frankly, I can’t avoid asking if it was all worth it,

Knowing the heavy price I paid for the journey.

 

Very few hit the jackpot, the rest of us are left to wallow in perpetual self-pity,

Emotionally and financially impoverished by the time we reach our golden years,

Wondering what could have been,

Or, on a more personal level, what should have been.

 

Alas, no one wants to hear my woes,

We’re all too busy consoling ourselves,

Since we’re all on the same journey of tears.

When I gaze at my reflection and see who I’ve become,

Nothing more than a bitter remnant of what I once was,

A stranger in a strange body, bald, battered and brokenhearted,

Life seems meaningless.

 

Others tell me, I should have done this, or I should have done that;

Or it would have been better to have died young,

So as not to endure the hardship and disgrace of growing old.

Though it’s all conjecture at best,

Espoused by people like me – on the verge of dying.

 

Where did the time go?

When did life leave me in this unhandsome condition?

In my mind, I’m still a wide-eyed adventurer looking to make a name for myself.

Yet when I drag myself out of bed in the morning,

All I see is a frail old man barely able to walk without the use of a cane.

 

You ask, what would I do if I had it to do all over again?

Oh, I say, dare you accompany me on my pitiful walk down memory land.

Must I paint you a picture of a man running toward the abyss,

Hounded by a cruel, God forsaken, rapacious world.

 

Still you ask, but there must have been good times.

More importantly, you need to ask the painful question,

Would I want to do it again?

Especially now that I know the nature of man is wicked and wanton,

And it all ends in the anguish of grief?

All I can say, … is I hope and pray there is a heaven,

Or it was all for naught.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Rights Reserved, Bill Bitetti July 1, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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