“The truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”
– Bob Marley

I’ve seen some horrible things.
I’ve said vile, rage-induced rantings.
I’ve also witnessed humanity at its best.
I see the wonderment of it all, my place in it, and it’s astonishing in the difficulty and beauty of it all.

So I shall explain.

My biological father I know only in name (later in life I found him: he told me had a family. He didn’t wish to talk further.) and two half-siblings I know nothing about, save their existence.

My youth was spent mostly in a fog: vague memories of physical abuse from the two men my mother chose to marry after my father “left” (this part remains unknown to me). One such incident that stands out in particular was my step-father choke-holding me several inches off the ground; his rancid breath screaming profane words my mind won’t allow me to remember. An eternity passed before being thrown down.

I was adopted when I was 6. My toy gun I proudly held as a prize for going into court. “Father” dearest coming home staggering drunk nightly, a ticking bomb always following swiftly in his wake; always a saint come Sunday morning.

He’d keep a 2×4 hung on a nail in the basement door, the words “The Peacemaker” carefully carved into its flesh. I remember the sheer panic whenever that door would come open, can still hear the creak as clearly as though only a minutes passing.

I wonder if I was only one that sacred wood was used on; does that sound ring clearly elsewhere?

During my teenage years, I begun to enjoy the distraction drugs and alcohol provided. LSD proved to be the most interesting to me and lead me to a sense of spirituality and awe; perception forever changed.

I watched a meth addict spend hours with a mirror, picking at his face; the remainder of the time glancing out the window convinced the cops lurked within the shadows. “Geeter Heads”, folks around there called them, easily identifiable by their twitchy demeanor and tendency to ride a bicycle.

My past employee while I managed a photography studio suffered from a heroin addiction. Hell of a drug, that. Occasionally, we would smoke pot at the end of the shift together. Ended up having to fire him after showing up in an incoherent stagger one day; rather a shame and to this day I wonder about his fate.

Arguments, so many arguments, I’ve seen in the public.
Mothers smacking a child upside the head, calling them an idiot for dropping a cup.
Couples screaming with sweat-coated veins popping out with their rage whilst walking down a sidewalk; the mother pushing the stroller absently.
The person ahead of you in line complaining about the washer fluid levels are too low; the gas too high.

This list, obviously, goes on extensively for us all.

I’ve dated liars, cheaters, and wonderful people who ended hurting me the most when gone.
I’ve yelled things hateful and explosive, designed specifically to hurt; perhaps one of my only regrets in life.
I’ve received them just as often, the kind that cut to the core and still hurt years later; a cancer that never truly heals.
I have a spectacular significant other now, however strained the circumstances and despite my sickening realization of just how far my rabbit hole goes, is still standing by side. My soul hopes that continues.

I’ve seen the best humanity has.

A stripper I met once (not in a strip club, for the record; not an elegant business in my humble opinion) gave me one of my most accurate tarot card readings while another picked me up at two a.m. during a hitchhike to nowhere.

A Mexican gentleman, speaking broken English, picked me up while hundreds passing me did not so much as slow. He then insisted on giving me $20 after taking me several dozens miles directly to my destination, though I repeatedly told him I had money and attempted refusal. I have not forgotten that, my friend.

Strangers smiling and saying hello.
Love; uninhibited and full, in all of its glory and pain.
Someone pitching in the eighteen cents a fellow man seems short on to buy his loaf of bread.

Tonight, I stood outside and watched the starlit sky for nigh an hour, and reflected upon all this. Where I fit in the grand scheme of things; one tiny speck of nothing in an infinite space.

I finally was able to clear my mind for the first time in memory. At that very moment, in that blissful state of pure nothingness, a shooting star flashed brightly across my direct vision.

It was then, I knew it was time to write this portion of my story.

It didn’t always used to be like this, my Agoraphobia.
It’s terrifying to face, and equally as magnificent.
An absolute curse; a beauty in its solitude.
Hatred and love, entangled into a mesh that I simply cannot undo anymore.

Even if I could, would I want to?

The only question unanswered: Should I be thankful for this and come to love it? Not having an answer is perhaps the most frightening of it all.

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