Losing Ground

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Losing Ground

36×36 oil on canvas

I drift aimlessly, ghost-like into an ever-so-crowded room, a vast sea of social discord. I note white-noise conversations, familiar dialog, fabricated discourse, patterned lies of worthless chatter and witness remnants of the “walking dead,” their lighted cigarettes and half-spent cocktails more alive than they. The masks they wear pose anguished faces, telling their tale; their breath, a putrid smell of fetid meat.

Among these tormented souls, still a few hold dear a glimmer of something more, a small candle, not yet extinguished, a dam waiting to burst forth.

I hear silenced dialogue, repressed rivers of truth screaming to be set free. I know all too well those words not yet spoken and feel the fleshy worm of self-inflected deprivation crawl languidly across my belly. Enumerable numbers, those soldiers without cause, the ones that cannot, nor will they ever, a thick soup of wasted souls.

The near living, they wait for a sign, a savior to appear and set them free. They have no clue that deep inside holds their only key.

Excerpt from Steps: A Memoir