The Old High

Gavin stood before the mirror, dragging soft-tipped fingers over his face. He felt like he experiencing something for the first time—or was it the last? He caught a glimpse of his own broken will deep in his sunken eyes, lost in the years of self-abuse and emotional mutilation. He was coming down, and it wasn’t pretty.

The vial was empty next to him on the bathroom sink, the plastic top still rolling around after his panicked search for more. To Gavin, this was the end. The darkness of a life of regret swallowing up the glory that was the past. He could remember the Gulf War, he could remember being a soldier there and fighting for honor. He remembered being a skateboarding champion in high school in ’02. He remembered hiking through the wilds of Canada during the 1980’s. It was all mixed together like mud in the grey matter.

The regret was making him panic. The feeling of having done so much only made him become painfully aware of his current state of inactivity. It was a curse to have near-sight, when one could dream ahead. But why dream ahead when you could see, in clear detail, what you’ve done in prior times. The cold emptiness in his stomach wasn’t hunger; it was the aching tug of feeling sorry for himself.

Fingers streaking down the dull mirror, tears streaked over his face as the soft fluorescent lamp buzzed above his head. He could not skate. He could not fight in the military. He would never see the soft waters of a lake in Canada. “I’m a loser,” he thought. “My life is pointless.” Mutilating his mind one doubt at a time.

Within his most dark hour, he found the drive to reach out to the phone, and began to dial. The sweat of nervous guilt seeped out of his pores and mixed with his uncontrollable tears. There was a click, and though he was trying not to sound desperate, Gavin only wanted one thing.

“Frank! I… I need more memory.”

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The Past

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