"Things I Once Believed That I Don't Believe Anymore"
by Michael Gebelein
I want to tell you all the things that you’re not supposed to tell people about. I want to tell you about how I walked out of the house, sat down and smoked a cigarette and imagined how things could have been different. I want to tell you about how my marriage almost ended, maybe should have ended, but I held on for reasons that I still don’t understand two years later. I want to tell you about how ten days ago I cried and cried and then I didn’t and Amber read her bible as we sat there watching instead of confronting that moment that we will never experience again, and how afterward my dad called me because he couldn’t find it even though it was still sitting in the same place where someone, anyone, put it: next to Mom’s babygrand piano. I want to tell you about how I wonder sometimes if Becky didn’t do the things that she did knowing good and well that I would leave her, and then I didn’t and totally fucked up her big plans. I want to tell you about how I feel like I’m living a lie sometimes and that my life isn’t what I thought it was and that scares me. I want to tell you about how I get my kids dressed in the morning and drive up the mountain to work and pray that they’ll be okay, and that I don’t think those prayers are going to be answered. I want to tell you about how a voice behind my left ear started telling me that dying wouldn’t be so bad, not that I’d ever kill myself, but that it wouldn’t be so bad to be just gone. And then I got on antidepressants and that itch went away, mostly. I touched my mother’s head and held her hand and I told her not to worry, that we would be okay, that it was all right to let go even though I knew that it wasn’t going to be all right and that there would be a gap in our lives that might not ever make itself whole again. I mowed my parents’ lawn and remembered some of the stories that I told myself and everyone else that were only half-truths that became legend and then fell away.