Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Regret, My Old Friend,

There are moments that just never leave. They pop up anytime. When you can't sleep in the middle of the night, while you are waiting at one of those endless stoplights, while you are writing a blog post, who knows what, something, again, who knows what, will trigger a memory. And there it is. A few seconds you can never take back, playing out in front of you. The theater of divine self reprobation.

Probably, nobody else remembers those flashes of time from so long ago. But, they will follow you, or me, to the grave. At least I hope I am not the only one haunted by seconds that flashed by and now seem to last for hours.

It could be as simple as a few words spoken in anger. A childish tantrum compressed into a small sentence that hurt a loved one. A few words you can never take back, and were quickly forgiven, but never forgotten. Seared into the memory they will be with you for the rest of your days. With you both. Yes, it was foolish, and meant nothing, but there it is, playing at random times. There are times when I look into my wife's beautiful brown eyes and remember the sadness or anger that were there, and I hate myself.

Maybe it was an accident. A careless act performed in haste with frightening consequence. There are things that still, years later, make me nauseous just thinking about them. I can hear the words of the doctor stitching me up about the severity of the wound. It comes back in stereo.

Sometimes I hate those little replays. In fact I always hate them. They never pop up something good, something noble. I did good things, too. There were times I chose the right path. But, my memory diode has erased all of those, or at least hidden them.

And, every one of those little plays could be used to learn, to improve. Maybe it is fate's way of telling us life is filled with 2nd chances. Perhaps it is evolution's way of insuring the future of the species. Everything passes, everything changes, but we can always do things a little better. I hope to be better tomorrow than I am today. I hope we all are.