Ernest Hemingway said:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
A long time ago I went to see a lady who claimed that she was able to read souls and therefore determine one’s true life lesson. “Why am I here?” It’s the question most of us ponder from time to time and I was there for an answer. Most of my life hasn’t made much sense to me. I have always been more of a reactionary as opposed to someone who sits and thinks about the consequences before I’ve acted. And, although that is a not the safest way to live, it certainly has led to quite a few interesting experiences, adventures and, admittedly, a lot of trouble. But somehow, some way, I have always been able to find my way out of whatever mess I had worked myself into. And if worse came to worse, I could always call my Dad.
When it came to Billy, it was different. I could see in him the same reckless trait that I had. That leap before you look, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission mentality and I tried, Good Lord knows how I tried to quelch that in him. “Pay attention!” is something that I often pleaded with him to do. “Think things through.’ “Make a decision and stand by it” “All actions have consequences, be it positive or negative. Choose carefully.” Those are the warnings I tried to instill in his brain, if only to save him from a few of the mistakes that I have made in my life. If only to keep him grounded and safe and give him a life I couldn’t even imagine dreaming for. “Your Name in Lights” is what I told him. “Bill, we are going to see your name in lights someday ‘William Paul Poffenbarger’, you’re going to be famous!”
So what I want to know is as you stepped up onto that chair and just before you put your head full of your beautiful hair through that noose made from an electrical cord, did you not hear my voice telling you, begging you, imploring you, pleading with you to please for the love of God stop and think of the consequences? Did you for even one second think to yourself, ‘This might not be the best idea’ right before you stepped off the chair? Or did you go out in a blaze of carpe diem? What were your last thoughts as you hang there dying? Were they I’m sorry Mom? Because they should have been. They absolutely better have been.
My lesson is to learn how to be vulnerable. Do you see me bleeding?