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1. Lucid – Establishment

Tattoo the word “traitor” on my back and it might be true. No promises either way. Just the simple possibility. Nothing more. Then again, everything’s a “maybe” these days. Nothing is forever. In the end, even the headstones turn to dust to match the inhabitants that they mark. There will be no place markers, there will be no places. Only ashes.

Traitor. Amongst other things. The more important point – I don’t really care. And it’s really there. On my neck. For all to see. On the back, so everyone can see it but me. Why would I need to see it anyway? I designed it, kind of like my life. I set everything up, just as I wanted it. I set up the mold that restrained my madness. Or so I kept telling myself.

Look at me and tell me who I am, why I am, what I am. If you dare. Would you betray a traitor? Give ammunition to the spineless coward, would you tempt it? Would I? Is it worth the risk; is anything? Fuck the rhetoric. Always.

Everything’s so goddamned theoretical anymore. Rhetorical. Metaphorical. What the hell happened to the real? The now, the constant; everyone is so damned focused on the then and the coming soon, nobody gets the true point anymore. If there is one. Say it again.

Traitor.

Louder, one more time. With feeling; without compassion.

Traitor.

Always and forever. Now and never.

In the flesh, product of solitude and suffering. Blood that flows warm, carrying the lack of compassion with it. A body animated simply to bleed, a life granted simply to destroy. My point and purpose were unclear, even to myself at times.

What am I? Who am I? Most of the lies are burned skin deep. For always.

Whatever happened to Heaven? I’ve searched far and wide and was only able to find Hell. Salvation, or even the chance of it, was dead. Like me. That’s what I am. Dead. It makes it easier to get around. The details aren’t entirely necessary.

Traitor. Who did I betray? The only person that matters.

Myself.

All I do is work. No family. No friends. Only this. Nobody to blame but myself. And I honestly prefer this. The solitude. My damnation. For eternity.

The lone wolf never has to ask permission to leave from the pack. I don’t do groups well anyway. Besides, who wants to sleep next to a corpse, a target waiting to catch a bullet. You can’t love the heartless. You can only pretend to try.

What makes me a traitor?

I lie convincingly, compulsively. And I’ve managed to kill anyone I ever cared about. Or loved.

I pledge allegiance to – the highest bidder.

The United States, and its republic are the biggest scams going.

One nation, under God. Under who?

Indivisible – like the fusion of my mind and morals.

With liberty – one of the most abused ideas in this land. We fight, and die, in the name of enduring freedom. How many went to war willingly? Numbers never lie, unless produced by our government. How many died senselessly in unnecessary conflicts? Are you sure? What about all the unknowns?

And justice – Now that’s just a fairy tale. A flat out lie.

For. All.

All of the best lies, all in one place, cemented into the minds of young, impressionable would-be voters. Funny; Hitler appealed to the youth too.

I don’t dream – I seldom sleep. There’s always work to be done, a restless conscience to calm. A conscience is a dangerous thing; and mine still lectures me.

Click. Lecture this. Bang. And the bastard keeps going. Just like me.

Define “impossible” and I’ll tell you a thing or two. In this day and age, impossible is bending, reinventing itself as improbable. Yet, the cycles continue, the events come and go. And we stand, surrounded by ash, to wonder.

Children wonder. Teens experiment. Adults reflect. Past. Present. Future.

I’m only really concerned with the now. When the travel time of a bullet decides the measure of life, time is wasted on anything other than the present.

This might make no sense. That’s not my problem. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions, right? What about those with no emotions to rationalize?

Welcome.

Do you feel alive?

If so – great. You’re ahead of the game. If not, better get moving. Time’s running short; it’s always against you. Like me.

I play no sides. I owe no favors. Pay no respect.

The man with the gun always has the floor.