hughman show

i was thrown into the ocean by my father. seemingly for no reason. i assumed he was angry at me. i was the oldest of his kids. underwater, i could see above the surface at the shimmer of his red beer can. it was all i could see. i saw him laugh with his friends, his brothers and could see he wasn’t mad at me. he was telling his friends that i could do it. I could learn how to swim then and there. i was already 8, and knew i couldn’t swim. it was there that, in the waters that i made my first friend. death. i didn’t fight, i decided to drown and simply die. it was then death showed me he was my friend

he didn’t take me. and i had not drowned. i realized my feet touched the floor. it felt like the first time my feet had touched the floor. my breath was still in me. i realized no one was coming to save me. i just looked above the water at everyone. time had stopped. and became enraged not from what had been done to me. i was a child, i didn’t know then, but my father was right. i could do it. i walked, one foot over the other and walked out of the sea. i’ve never been able to enjoy a family beach party since then.

growing up stank. we were poor. we didn’t speak the native tongue of the land. but that didn’t stop us. my dad had to leave, but i had a resilient mother. rose. but i had a little brother. david. fantastic young chap. but i had to be the man of the house. at 8. i didn’t get to have a childhood. i spoke for my mother because she didn’t understand the human tongue. i had to translate. my lullabyes were legal letters from the government about how to get aides.

i’ve said this story to very special people to me before. but until now, i didn’t know how special this story really was. i went by so many names. people always said so many stories about me. when i heard them, i was appalled. they talked about me as if i was another person. but i just smiled more and more as i got older. i laughed more and more at things as i got older. the stories kept coming and i never knew what the hell they were talking about. i was drunk half the time. it’s easy to fall into bad habits when you come from a cracked home. but i always made it a priority to laugh and to make others laugh.

when i’m alone, i feel like the moon. misunderstood, beautiful and always bringing light to all, even in the dark. on my darkest days, i feel like no one see’s me. and it’s alright. i know i’ll come back. i always do. suicide never works because my buddy, death, don’t wanna take me. almost like he knows something. he encourages me. several times, he showed me how much he didn’t want to take me by taking away everybody else. some, i cared deeply for. i was so angry. anger isn’t an emotion i’ve dealt with much in my life. but i understood. so i laughed it off. everyone looked at me like i was nuts. i’m dumb, but not that dumb. i knew i looked crazy. but i just laughed when i was angry. smiled when i was sad.

i’m older now. 30. the big three-oh. i live the childhood i was denied. but somehow, i became wiser because of it. i still hear stories about me. it sounds like a terrible, evil person they’re talking about. sometimes i did the funniest things. elaborate joker, life of the party. but, i just like to drink sometimes. it’s utterly boring to be the same person all the time. funny, happy. nobody’s like that all the time. so i let Him out now and then. but it’s alright. in a way, i kind of like hearing those stories. i’m not harboring anything, and that’s a stabilizer. then, when i actually introduce myself, everybody relaxes and calms down. i throw out a joke or two. hang out a little longer than necessary before i leave with hugs. then i look at the moon. it’s always night. to some, i’m like sunshine, but honestly, i feel more like the moon. people shouldn’t believe everything they hear about another person. they’ll miss out on big deals some times. but it’s alright.

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