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Guest Writer

Third of five parts ...
The funeral pirate
by Troy Eggleston

ere I sit pressed up against my only window, looking out upon the world.

Everything seems slow outside. Slow to resolve. Slow to involve. It makes me curious about momentum. The way things, things such as actual truth and reason, linger far behind their initial glimpse. How it may take years to act upon what has long been realized as necessary.

All of the lethargic dreamers, dreaming of how they should do this or could do that. Well, we all should and perhaps we all could, but most of us never will.

You see, the Buddhists believe that we are born attached. Attached to all of the lives we experienced prior to the one in which we are currently living. And that there is purpose to each
life. Whether or not this purpose is transferred as positive or negative leverage toward the next life is primarily up to how we deal with imprints that have been branded into each of our very beings.

The goal is to slow down this vicious spin cycle we call existence. To slow it down just enough so that we are able to correct our stance upon this world, adjusting ourselves a bit more succinctly toward some source of light, whether it be a mere glimmer or blinding sun. Our imprints we cannot ignore. To try and ignore them would surely make one ricochet aimlessly off of the failures of the past. Thus increasing the spin. Faster and further forgotten, the one within.

So this is my story. It is a tragic tale, as I have mentioned before. I am sharing it with you only because I must. Love and understanding is an imprint for another life. This life, for me, was to realize suffering. I am curious about momentum the way an atheist is curious about God. The way a moth stumbles its wings toward light only to find a false impression of the sun.

Yet I know how things are supposed to work. Within my fitful mind, I can still visualize a wrecked sort of harmony, if you will. But even that image lasts for but a moment. I have shunned faith. But now I ask you to rebuild yours.

Please ignore my previous ramblings for they had no direction. Here is where I shall begin. To confess rather than recollect. This is my story as simplified as I am able to tell it. It is the truth, despite what you have been taught about possibility. Take what you will from it, but know that I have tried. However much my imprint allowed, I have tried.

I was what could be described as a very even-minded child. I was directly in pace with what was to be expected. I took my first steps directly in proportion to the national average. My first words followed in stride. I was by no means temperamental, but neither was I engaging.

As I grew, all of my accomplishments were ordinary. I spoke ordinary words. I scored ordinary scores. When I learned cursive, it too was ordinary without any exaggerated curves. My size was ordinary. My looks were ordinary. My athleticism was indeed ordinary as well. My father, despite all the signs of having created an ordinary child, refused to acknowledge my basic nature. He stated with fatherly pride that I was exceptionally balanced.

That my lack of any foreseen flaw, coupled with my lack of any foreseen talent, made me steady.

“Our son is steady like Roosevelt was steady,” he would say lifting his chin toward my mother. “He has presidential balance.”

It was this presidential balance that got me through my younger years unaffected, uninspired and undefeated. I began to wonder why I never laughed that uncontrollable belly laugh that makes one's eyes tear up as they fall to their knees. I never anticipated a birthday party or a summer vacation with matched enthusiasm to the other children.

Why couldn’t I feel butterflies floating in my stomach or feel the overwhelming type of fear that is accompanied by strange night noises? I never seemed to give way to my emotions. I was stoic, or balanced, if you prefer positive spins. That is until the accident occurred. It was my definitive accident.

It inevitably carved a new direction in my life, from which I have since been unable to deviate.

Read parts one and two of "The funeral pirate."

E-mail Troy at leonchester@cosmo.com, and find his previous efforts in our archives.

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