I have changed radically about some things over the years, but probably none of those changes have been as great as the ways that I feel about people who are viewed as evil or criminal. When I was young, I was eager to see criminals or foreign political enemies killed. Today, I don’t view such people though rose-colored glasses and I don’t view them as blameless folks who are going to turn their lives around if we just think happy thoughts. But I can’t celebrate the death of anybody, even if he might deserve it in some ways of thinking about it. Even if it’s sometimes necessary to kill someone — and those cases are often debatable — I regret the death of someone who will now never have a chance to discover love and change his life. There are some evil people in this world, but I can’t celebrate their deaths.
I don’t know how to get home. I’m not sure I’ve ever been there.
I’m not from this place. Not really. Yes, I was born here. On this planet, in this state, not far from where I sit. But I look around and know with certainty these are not my people. I don’t really understand them and they don’t understand me. We might as well be from different planets.
I’ve been looking for home since I was a small child. We didn’t stay any place for very long. From the beginning, it was a painful blur.
Birmingham, Washington, Atlanta, Knoxville, Meridian, Anniston, Oak Grove, Pensacola, Jasper.
It was a long line of new places, new people, new situations. I had a mother, then I didn’t. I had stability, then I didn’t. I craved love and attention and approval, but being perfect was the only way I knew to pursue them. And I wasn’t perfect.
I’ve longed for something all my life. I didn’t know what to call it. I’ve longed to find my home.
But it’s worse than that. It’s more like a dark monster — spewing its foul hot breath down my neck — just waiting for its chance to devour me.
I’ve come to a restaurant where I haven’t been for a long time. I didn’t really want to deal with anyone I know, but I felt too restless to go home. I’m sitting next to a huge window with a view of a beautiful sunset on the horizon, but I don’t even feel like walking outside to take a photo.
The glorious red sky doesn’t match the blackness I feel inside.
It’s not depression that I feel. This sort of darkness is different. It’s more like hopelessness. It’s the feeling that I’ve been running a race — pushing toward the prize I needed with all my heart — and then finding that I’ve been running in a big circle. It’s the feeling that my time has been wasted. That I’ll never have what I’ve been chasing.
When I woke up this morning, I remembered a dream — a vivid night drama that had awakened me in the wee hours and made me feel terribly alone.