“Above the Dirt”

Yesterday was very trying. Like most mornings, I laid there thinking of reasons to get out of bed. I did get up… my heart just wasn’t ‘in it’. I arrived at work a short time later and started my day. As the hours slowly ticked by, I grew more and more uneasy. I finally reached a point when I couldn’t take it any longer. I filled out a form acknowledging that I was leaving work before my scheduled quitting time, and placed it on my lead’s desk. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if I’d come back… ever. I drove the short distance home and parked the car. I must’ve sat there a good fifteen minutes, lost in my thoughts. I climbed out of my car and went inside. Closing the front door behind me, I quietly ascended the stairs. Looking in my son’s room, I saw that he was still asleep… so peaceful. I envied him. Now, I don’t have many things my life in which I take pride and joy, but in my son… I have both. He’s the reason I go on. (Summer 2017)


Many times, when passing acquaintances, plesantries are exchanged. “Hello!”, “Good morning!”, and “How are you?” It’s how we greet one another and acknowledge our friendships. To me, these are some of the most awkward social interactions of my day. My Southern upbringing dictates that I reply in kind when greeted. Out of respect for those social courtesies, I do respond. Now, I’m not an extrovert by any loose definition of the term… so, responding makes me feel quite uncomfortable. I want to return greetings to those who were kind enough to initiate, but the “How are you?”, troubles me most with an adequate response.

I’m a firm believer in being as transparent and straight forward as possible. I can, at times, be very blunt in my day-to-day interactions. That said, my usual response when asked “How are you?”, is “I’m above the dirt.” Yeah, I know it sounds like a morbid response, and possibly ‘jerkish’, but it really is how I feel. Life is a chore… a chore that I’ve grown tired of participating.

It seems like I’ve spent the better part of my life, analyzing and justifying my existence. Life is pointless. It exists only to perpetuate itself. There is no ‘end game’ and no reward. It’s not unusual for me to contemplate death. That’s something always ruminating in the dark reaches of my mind. My challenge has always been finding a reason to go on. Every day that I’m in the here and now, I’m ‘above the dirt’… and that’s the justification for my response.

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