From the Trapper Keeper…Frozen Grief

A reading from my teen-angsty period …

…you know, as opposed to my 20's ennui, my 30's tedium, and 40's existential crisis periods….
…you know, as opposed to my 20’s ennui, my 30’s tedium, and my 40’s existential crisis ….


This one is from early 1988 ….I probably didn’t have enough gas money to run down to Sea Isle, sit on the rocks, and stare moodily out into the ocean, so I wrote this instead.  I removed some of the uglier warts, but this is pretty much the same story as the long-hand version sitting in the back of my desk.

Frozen Grief

A clump of hardened snow broke loose from the roof of a passing truck.  It spun in the air, the cold sunlight refracting from the light in a million rays, before crashing down and shattering on the black pavement of the expressway.  He stared at the ruined clumps of snow, then returned to his driving.

Everything used to be so easy.  he had school, work, his girlfriend…his whole life – all separate entities.  But lately?  Lately things had frazzled, all of the aspects of his life beginning to run together, like a water color left neglected in the rain.  He couldn’t concentrate. In class, he thought about work.   And when he finally escaped from the tedium of the classroom, he was immediately swallowed by the tedium of his job. 

While he worked, he thought constantly of Maria.  He worried about their life together, and the more he worried, the more snappish and defensive he found himself.  And his worked progressed slowly, with too much time spending idle, staring at a wall, wondering what he should do.  If he didn’t get moving, he’d find a pink slip included with his check one week.

“Just quit…”  He shuddered.  The voice that spoke inside his head was talking more then a job, or school.  He imagined the spin of a revolver barrel….whirrr click…..whirrrrr click.  Just spin the wheel and get your lucky number, kid….grab onto the big pink slip of life.

He pushed the thoughts from his mind, horrified.  Normal people didn’t say those things….shouldn’t even think them.

“What’s the sense in sticking around,” the voice whispered, using the quiet in the empty car to full advantage.  “It’s all running together.  Everything is bearing down.  Hell, if you don’t check yourself out soon, the world’s going to do it for you.  It would be easy.”

And he knew it could be easy, could visualize the scene. The cold steel, a brief squeeze…

Another truck roared by, sending it’s quota of frozen snow on its spinning, futile attempt of flight.  The snow came down and shattered.  The way it always did.  The way everything falls…everything shatters.

A lone tear left his eye, blazing a short wet trail down his cheek.

Frozen Grief © 1988 James Knipp

Kinda makes me want jump in the old way-back machine and slap myself until I stop being such a cartoon!  (while I was at it, I might also convince myself to not drop out later that semester!)

Ah youth!

…listen you!
…listen you!

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