Maddie thinks she can change me. She puts her hand on my shoulder and spouts tripe. “The past is gone,” she says. “You can be whatever you choose to be.” Vapid life preservers that junkies toss about in twelve-step meetings or disillusioned young mothers post on Pinterest boards so they don’t slit their wrists in the tub.
I don’t resent her for it: she still thinks there’s some reason. It makes me smile but, when I do, nobody smiles with me. They avert their eyes and scatter.
The fact is, people don’t want to face reality, not really. They say they resent fakers and posers and frauds but they are, every one of them, a faker, a poser, a fraud. None of them considers that we’re nothing more than teeming insects on a spinning ball in space, a faint glowing coal that will soon smolder out and go cold.
Ashes to ashes and dust mites to dust.
“I was put on this Earth to write,” Maddie says, “and, by God, I’m going to do it!” She doesn’t regard the millions dead from starvation or disease or being blown to pieces by war.
“Weren’t they put on this Earth to do something?” I want to ask. “Is this what they chose to be?”
Maddie thinks she can change me and I let her live the lie. As for me, I’ve given up trying to change. In the end, only the full moon can make me into something I’m not and tonight, when it rises over the trees, I’ll become the wolf again.
And I’ll feast on her innocence.
Now try this: Ward’s Worthless Ward