by Shaun Terry

Sad Man

I called the suicide hotline
just to have a live human voice
to talk with.
I figured that they wouldn’t make it obvious
that they were judging me,
and all my razorblade thoughts,
slicing, slicing.
They’d just mock me
and make stupid faces at other operators,
holding their breath at me,
while I told them what a fool I’ve been,
while lying on my bedroom floor,
listening to depressing songs on repeat.
And then, they’d go home
and watch reality television
while they ate greasy potato chips.
This is the best I’ve got

You think this is a game I play,
but this terror game isn’t fun for me, either.
I know that I was wrong
the whole time –
a child,
obliviously shitting himself,
over and over,
screaming and kicking,
blaming everyone else.
And you were right
all along.
You’re a good girl,
no matter what idiotic bullshit I said.
Maybe I’m just bad news.
Maybe I’ll always be bad news.
I’ve been so mean.

You haven’t seen the best of me
in over two years,
and I haven’t been nearly-good
in probably a year.
Anything sweet is so far in the distance;
you can hardly see it now.
But maybe that was all a farce
to begin with,
just a cruel mind’s illusion.
Maybe I’ve always been the bad guy,
and I’ve just been putting on an elaborate show,
fooling everyone,
including myself.
Maybe I’m the bad guy,
and maybe I’ll always be the bad guy.
How else could I have behaved so stupidly?
How else could we be here

I snuck into a movie theater,
like a dirty, slimy, rejected, red-eyed rat,
because I needed somewhere to cry,
somewhere to release
all the self-loathing and stupid self-pity,
and I couldn’t sit at home anymore
without thinking about how horrible
I had turned everything.
And I figured that it’s okay to cry
in a movie theater.

I never learned how to cope.
You don’t start to be a person
until you realize that your parents betrayed you,
and by then,
it might be too late.

You’re an aqualung
at the bottom of the ocean,
and I’m swimming among
all these brightly-colored fishes,
and they look grey to me.
I’m drowning,
and it’s my own fault.
“It’s no one’s fault,”
you would tell me,
but maybe you’re wrong.

I guess you win.
Or maybe I win.
No; everyone lost.
I made everyone lose.
I’m lying on the ground, again,
For nothing.
I’m sorry. Really.