excerpted from “The Last Days of Beauty and Pain
by Lee L. Krecklow
{from e-Issue #12}

 

I was told this would be helpful. I’m failing to see how. Everyone seems to know what I should do with myself. Everyone knows what will be good for me. Healthy. I no longer have control. Everyone is in control but me. How is this helpful? It’s stupid. Nothing is helpful.

*

Helpful for who? If these are my words and my thoughts, then they are already mine, and this is meaningless. More than anything, it’s embarrassing. Here are my thoughts. Fuck it all. Fuck this life. Fuck your life. Fuck it.

*

My life has been beautiful. Then why should this be so sad? That feeling had always confused me. Something being so beautiful that it saddens you. Drives you to tears. Beauty and pain are inseparable. Did Dylan say that? Love and hate are the same. That never used to make sense to me. Now it makes perfect sense. It’s a truth.

*

I feel sick today. I think I have a fever. But I’m cold, too. I’m sweating and I’m freezing. I won’t tell April about it. She doesn’t need to know. The less she fusses over me the better.

*

I continue to find myself here. In the basement. Using my workbench. I still think that it’s stupid, but here I am. Not every day, at least. At least I can say that. Maybe I should put dates on the pages. Dates for who? Because this is all for me, right? What do I want? Does anyone ask anymore? Do I know the answer if they did? I miss baseball right now. Where did the season go? I’d like the distraction. Busy is happy.

*

This is stupid because I’m not talking to anybody. It occurred to me last night while I wasn’t sleeping again. I’m not writing to anybody. So today I write to you. Maybe that itself is stupid because you won’t ever read it. But then again, what if you do? What if my words find their way to you. You know, don’t you? That’s a nice thought. I think about those things now. I never used to, but I do now. Even if I write to you, I don’t know what to say. So maybe I’m left in the same place. So again, I ask who is this for? It’s cold down here, but it’s quiet and I like that. I think it’s the only place I can breathe.

*

I had my first treatment today. Not impressed, I guess. I feel fine. I’m told it gets harder. Doesn’t everything? The notion that anything gets easier is bullshit. I think you just get used to things, but everything gets more complicated. I’m fifty-three. Forty-three was easier. And thirty-three before that. If I’m here to see fifty-four, I’ll probably want for this again.

*

These are terrible things for me to say to you. I’m sorry for that. My life has been beautiful. You are beautiful. As I write this I know that it’s my one tragedy that we were never allowed to be together. I had the love for you, and I couldn’t do anything with it. That any love is not allowed is a sin against us inflicted by a terrible God. How can love not be permitted? God is a fucking beast.

*

I shouldn’t say those things to you either. I get angry. I say them. Then I settle down and regret them. Regret is horrible. I don’t know what your relationship to God might be. I don’t know what my own relationship to God might be. It used to be simple. Like everything, it’s grown more complicated. I don’t understand him like I used to. I’ve been told it’s not my place to understand. I think that’s condescending bullshit. Like some overbearing parent to a child. But what do I know? I’m not a parent, now am I. And as I sit here now, I refuse to believe that God is mine.

*

Lee L. Krecklow lives and writes in the Milwaukee area, and can found at www.leelkrecklow.com.