A Letter To My Pain
by Damainion Ewell
For many years now, I have toiled day and night to unravel myself from out of your clutches. No matter how hard I would pull away, you would push and force yourself upon me all the more. My feet could not carry me away fast enough, as you would pick up the pace with every step that I took. No matter what big boulder I found to hide underneath, the strength of your arms were always strong enough to lift it and shine your bright light on me once again. Many miles have I traveled, and with every inch that I moved, you seemed to be lurking in darkness somewhere close by. There was no attainable restraining order to compel you to keep your distance. There were no bodyguards I could hire so when you came to my doorstep, they could forcibly remove you from the premises. There were no private investigators to hire to track your steps for a change. There is not a Lojack system made that can hunt you down as you are on the move.
What am I supposed to do with you?
You came after me in so many different disguises, I could never tell if it was you or Happiness, the one that I truly sought after. You know Happiness, don’t you? That is the one that you wish you could be, but you fail mightily to live up to its potential. Happiness never ruffles the feathers that you continuously do without thought. Happiness is the one that delivers the most elegant flowers money can buy just because, while your presence kills every plant in the room. Happiness generates an impenetrable smile on the faces of a world riddled with guilt, while you pile on the shame day by day. Happiness is the testimony of those who came out of darkness, while you are a continual trap for those seeking a way out. I never quite forgot some of the tricks you have played on me over the years.
Do you want to know what you did?
Your memory is impeccable, but the time has come to fight back! Do you remember that tent at my grandmother’s house that you helped a relative of mine put up when I was seven years old? Of course you do! That was one of your greatest masterpieces, and you held your artwork over my head for YEARS, as if Picasso himself painted it. I thought we were camping out, but you had a grandiose plot to take whatever innocence I had and suffocate it to death. I was touched on, prodded upon, poked and teased, as you sat in the background with your front row seats and popcorn in hand. As you spilled your soda with laughter, I unzipped myself out of the tent, too afraid to speak, too shattered for words, and yet too naive to realize that something was wrong. You camouflaged your actions and were savvy enough not to tear the mask off for some quite sometime. That was masterful work on your part!
Guess what else I remember?
I did not catch on to your slickness immediately, but you brought the same trick, just with a different relative. At least this time, you made sure this person had their own place to live and would not have to worry about getting caught. You came fully equipped with all of that and a custom designed muzzle, in case I ever got the urge to ever speak up. You shut my mouth, and in turn, I shut out the world. You sat back with nachos and a box of candy this time, in order to enjoy the show a little bit longer. I got a good whiff of you shortly thereafter, and it stunk terribly! As soon as you got wind of the fact that I smelled you, you figured the smell of a liquor bottle would counteract your stench. So, you brought that to me instead of cleaning yourself up. Lo and behold, you figured right! I loved that cheap 40 ounce smell more than I loved the smell of soap in the morning.
Oh baby, I am just getting started!
You were brazen enough to attempt to masquerade yourself all around me as Happiness, while doing all you could to satisfy my sexual appetite. I know Happiness from the longest distance of the horizon, and never once did it bring any sexual activity to put a smile on my face. It only brought the things that are guaranteed to last beyond my lifetime. Happiness brings a legacy of love and hope, while the few minutes of titillation you bring only brought poverty in my body and spirit. I should have known it was you, but I enjoyed your overtures so much that I could not get enough. In concert with my drinking habit, the sex thing took over my life, and once again, you had VIP seating to watch it all. You even had the gall to have a velvet rope available, allowing access to those certain bottles of liquor and women that you knew I could not say no to. Seeing me crying out for something I never knew was there or even existed on your big screen must have tickled your ribs day after day!
I was a dog…and love was the piece of meat that you had me chasing!
You know exactly what I mean! You knew not having a father anywhere on the scene would wreck me. So what did you do? You played hopscotch with me by letting strange men put one foot in the box, and as soon as the fire got too hot, they would remove their foot and tuck tail! You knew that drugs would ruin and destroy any remnant of a family that I ever had. So what did you do? You allowed this little piece of white rock to torment, torture, corrupt and totally mutilate my family from the inside. And what the drugs and lack of parenting did not do, the absence of any family structure of any kind finished the job. No family reunions. Rumblings of me being kidnapped by my grandmother when I just an infant. Abusive uncles and even more treacherous aunts. Having brothers and sisters that do not even know I exist. Relatives being killed and coming up missing without a trace. When you lay the frosting on the cake, you lay it on thick!
And for an encore, you erected your greatest pièce de résistance of all!
I guess you thought I had not squirmed and floundered around enough looking for what it was I was in desperate need of. So, in your greatest transformation plot of my life, you bring marriage. Surely, this is Happiness showing me an inordinate amount of gratitude. You backed up for a few years, I am guessing to scourge someone else for a season. I never thought I would ever hear from you again. My goodness, was I wrong! You jumped on my back at the most opportune time, when things were at their lowest. You brought a few of your cousins along for the ride this go round. Me and your cousin, Adultery ran around the block a couple of times. You and him are first cousins, right? You have another cousin, Physical Abuse, that I especially have a distaste for. That one is so wicked, it needed two names! Lying and Cussing are two other relatives that I met along the way, but I beat them until they ran home to their mothers! I believe you had an aunt or an uncle named Miscarriage that I ran into about six or seven times during the marriage, but I never quite understood what beef it had with me. Oh well, I smacked it around and two children came back to back anyway. I did not think Obesity and Bad Health were related to you. I always thought you just recruited those two clowns just for the hell of it.
I am guessing since none of those jackasses could get it done, you went and got the Grand Marshal of the whole tribe: Accusation.
Now that joker can be murder on any marriage, and has killed lesser arrangements throughout history. Accusation came in and stuck its dagger right in the heart of my marriage and killed it at the root. I bet you and your posse danced in the street as I skulked down the street with one trash bag of clothes and the pu
e that kept me alive. I know you like pouring salt into the wounds of those you victimized, so what would be more caustic and painful than to have my children call me, wondering if I would ever return. The greatest twinge of all came when I was never able to communicate to them that Daddy was never coming home.
Some things have dawned on me…
I have dealt with you, watched you in action and have come to some conclusions. You have had under the table dealings with Failure and Shame, have you not? Those characters are even more shady than YOU, so you had better watch out for those two. Failure comes to stick the knife in just that much deeper when everything has already crumbled under your feet. As I walked down the street with that trash bag, that cheap trick was not even courteous enough to even help me drag the bag when my arms got tired. It just giggled and snickered at me half to death. Shame is just a pitiful maggot altogether. It comes when everyone points the finger after Accusation gets finished doing its dirty work. Shame is not even bold enough to stand on its own merit. Shame is an absolute waste of space and should be kicked out of your crew immediately!
Now, why am I writing you this long-winded drivel of a mess called a letter?
I am glad that you asked! I am not sure if I have ever faced you head-on. I am not sure if I have ever given you credence in my life at all. I allowed those masks that you provided to me to take over and totally ignore your presence. You love it when you can play games in the background and do your bidding when nobody is looking. You especially love it when you can play some sardine can type of character and lay in the back of the shelf, untouched and gathering dust. But after much study and even more pondering of our life-long journey, one of us has to abandon ship. The world and all of the jewels it contains is not big enough for the both of us. You weigh me down, and I fight tooth and nail to kick you out every time I smell your concoction brewing. You put your hands on me, and I want to crawl underneath a bed and hide. You spit in my face and do not even brush your teeth, and all I do is stand there with a napkin.
I am serving you your eviction papers as of today! You have haunted me around every city and run me out of every town. You followed me from place to place, and crippled blessings that I did not even know were there. You have repeated your offenses time after time, without forethought or compassion. You have kept me awake countless nights, and made me a walking zombie on countless days. There is no pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. There is no finish line at the end of the race with you. You are, without question, a never-ending circle of hopelessness and anguish. You will not take up another minute of my time as you attempt to remind me of the past. You are my worst enemy, and we can no longer breathe the same air. I want nothing more to do with you. I have finally found Happiness, and we plan to stay together for the remainder of my life. If you try to barge in yet again and break up what Happiness and I have started, do yourself a favor: walk away and never look back. You are dead to me, and you will be sorely disappointed if you try to start any nonsense with me!
No longer yours,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Damainion L. Ewell is the Editor-In-Chief of Gospel Highlights, an all-new Christian lifestyle and gospel music magazine. The magazine was launched in May, 2009, and can be viewed at http://www.gospelhighlights.com. He has been a freelance writer for almost 12 years, and his work has been seen by readers all over the world.
Damainion relocated back to the Washington, D.C. area in late 2008, and his pen is on fire for the glory of Jesus Christ. Along with his magazine endeavors, he is working on his first book, the tentatively titled “The Articles Of Inspiration,” and is enjoying the perks of being the father of three beautiful children.
Damainion can be reached via his official website: http://www.godswriter.com.