Terror in the hours before dawn

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By Rex Alphin

“What was I thinking? What an idiot! I am nothing. I am worse than nothing. Wish I could dig a hole, crawl in and bury myself. How can anyone have been so stupid? To have lived this long and act in such a pitiful, ridiculous manner. It’s horrible!

“From this point forward, life will be downhill, dreadful, repulsive. Yes, that’s the word: repulsive. How do I go on living? And what other horrendous acts does the future hold for me? In what way will I fail — once again — tomorrow? Or next week? Or next month?

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“Will I relive this memory again? And again? And again? I sense no hope, no escape from this ominous journey through such a prison of despair.

“Were I a worm, I would burrow deep, let the soil envelop me and escape this misery. Oh, to be but a worm. A lowly, trodden-down creature that revels in his anonymity and concerns himself only with his next meal. A creature that needs only soil and is content.

“What I would give to escape this mortal body, to flee this decrepit condition that shreds my soul like paper and renders my spirit impotent. I am nothing, I tell you. Why, worse than nothing.

“Oh, to sleep. Be calm, soul … Relax … Breathe deeply … Push thoughts aside … Think of nothing … Content yourself … Think of the stillness … A warm bed … The silence….

“What was I thinking? What an idiot. I am nothing. I am worse than nothing. How stupid of me. How utterly stupid. I wish memory were but an appendage to be hacked off and cast aside. The past, the painful past — here can I flee?

Wretched man, I am! How could I? Miserable specimen of the human race. Poor excuse for a living being. Dread sucks me down to the abyss, the cesspool of failure, where I wallow in disappointment. How can I possibly go on?”

And then the sun rises. And everything changes.

Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.