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Mid Life Crisis – One Evening after Work

“Oh Jesus, my life is good, but it sucks so much.”

“Honey, can you empty the dishwasher?”

Sure, why not. I’ve got nothing else to do, I mutter…to myself..  But out loud too.

Why the hell not. I’ve got nothing else to do. Wish I did, but I don’t. But emptying the dishwasher?

Yeah, I’ll empty it.

“Dad, come play pig with me?”

My son wants to play pig. He would actually prefer playing fornite, but mom said no more fortnite. So now he’s coming to me to play pig.

“That sounds like the worst thing in the world” I think, with some guilt. He’s a great son. Why am I so lazy, just sitting here in my recliner, watching endless nothing? I pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram. It’s like a dirty river of endless filth. An empty river flowing into a large chasm.

“Okay, I’ll play one game,” I say, pushing myself to get up.

I’d rather sit here. Alone. Doing nothing and thinking nothing. The world around me collapses in on me and I want to just let it crumble while I rest.

Oh Jesus, my life is dull.

But I’m afraid of the other side of dull. I’ll just live in dull.

“You shoot first,” I pass the basketball to my 10 year old son.

“Nice shot,” I tell him. “Your shot’s looking a lot better.”

“Thanks, Dad. I’ve been working on keeping my elbow in its natural pocket and the release, follow through. Keep it high and fast, but don’t rush it,”.

Good kid, I think to myself. Wish he was grown and on his own. I’m just tired. Can’t raise boys anymore. Don’t feel like being a dad any longer. I’m just tired Jesus.

Why do I talk to Jesus. He don’t talk back to me. Oh well, Sorry Jesus.

I watch him take his next shot.

I make most of my shots. Swish, swish, swish. I don’t smile though. Just waiting for the game to be finished so I can go sit down again. I’m tired. Work kind of sucks, but I like being there. The money goes faster then I can make it.

“That’s P I G”.

Who’s going to prove it? You prove it Dad.

Swish. Good game son, I’ve got to go help mom now.

“Come on dad, one more.” “Nah, we said one. I’ve got to go now.”

Run inside. Empty the dishwasher. Look at the wood framed lettering above our mantel: “Together is happiness.”

“Hey hun, do you mind helping Scott with his math assignment.”

I don’t know math.

He just needs you to look at it with him.

Ok son, bring it over here.

Jesus, this is painful.

“Dad, I’ve got to tell you what happened today”.

My daughter walks in. Beautiful. Talented. Wise. Capable. Independent. 18. Graduating from High School and going to college.

 “Tell me about it.” “Well, mumble mumble mumble mumble.”

“Wow, I can’t believe that. You’ve done really well for yourself. I’m proud of you.”

“Hun, we have that church get together tonight.”

“What?”

“Yeah, remember, you committed to it three weeks ago.”

“Who’s going to be there?”

“I don’t know, the typical people from church.”

 I hate church though, don’t I? I don’t know that I do. I like it actually. But, not tonight or the next night or any night in the foreseeable future. Jesus, come on. I’m in pain here.  

“Ok, I’ll go get ready.”

I put on my pants and a Travis Matthews polo. My wife slips into a dress.

I admire her. I love her. I need her. She is beautiful.

Yet, I feel nothing.

“How long is this going to be?” I ask.

“I don’t know, but we can’t be the first to leave like always. It’s rude,” she replies.

“Jesus, why am I so uncomfortable?” I wonder, trying to muster the energy to face the evening.

I pick up the book. The Great Gatsby.

The Great Ass. I think to myself. I love to cuss. But I don’t cuss out loud. Just by myself and on the golf course. When I hit a bad shot, or a good one.

F yeah, or you F-ing piece of shit. That’s my favorite to say. To call myself an f-ing piece of shit.

I pick up the book. The Great Gatsby. I don’t give a shit about the book. But I love it.

I read the excerpt that I highlighted:

“I had lost my capacity for enjoying life. I didn’t care about anything. The evidence piled up swiftly from every quarter. I would keep going until I had worked out a pattern of life or died trying, but in the meantime, I had turned a corner and the world was a different place. The rest of the story will be about the shattering of illusions, the discovery of new patterns, the remaking of old ones. This is a progression toward maturity and wisdom but at the same time an admission of the breakage and the loss.”

Then, I turn to the last page.

“And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

I put down the book as my wife says that she’s ready and it’s time to go. …..

I look in the mirror and adjust my hair……..

Then I go.

The End