Midnight Demons

It is midnight again and I don’t know how to last another minute.
I crush my head between my hands and try to squeeze them out,
Should I call them nightmares?
Should I call them dreams?
Should I call them imaginations of a life I could’ve lived better?
Should I call them fragments of a bitter past?
Or should I refer to them by their real name?
Demons, coming out at midnight,
To torture me again or to guarantee I don’t last another night, I don’t know.

I have made mistakes in the past, who hasn’t?
Regrettable or not, who cares?
And their faces keep me awake at night.
I would number them if I could, but they are just too many,
And the weight of them is crushing me to my knees.
Pressuring me to take a knee,
As sign of respect, or submission I don’t know.
But when did demons demand that one kneels out of respect?

I write and write but I can’t write them out.
I spend my days running from them but at night they catch up with me.
And as I pant breathlessly they laugh at my feeble effort,
“You can’t run away from yourself” they say.
I am them, they are me,
I am my own midnight demon.

So I sit up and decide to devour myself.
To stand on the rails and let the trains crush me to oblivion.
I see the faces of my friends reaching out to save me but I won’t let them.
For who am I if not self destructive?
So I dodge all their calls and appointments
And answer all their questions with an overconfident “I am fine.”

I hear the voice of my father asking me why I never call him,
It is the same conversation over and over and over again.
“Call me son. I am your dad and I need to hear your voice sometime.”
“I will call you dad. I’ve just been really busy you know.”
But that is a lie and I know it. And a pathetic one at that.
But what good am I to him? What good is my voice to anyone?

I am angry. I have been angry for a long time now.
At myself; about past mistakes; at the world; at everything and at nothing all.
I am not sure I am even angry anymore.
Maybe disillusioned, maybe lost or maybe found.
Maybe this is who I was always meant to be.
Was I meant to be this lost?
This uncaring?

I am losing it, I swear to fucking God,
But I don’t want to do anything about it.
I am not a whining boy crying out for help,
Running around with my pants around my ankles,
With tears and mucus cascading down my face,
My face is not a Niagara Falls of failure!
So take back your hands dear friends because I don’t need help.
I don’t need you!

“Are you OK mate?”
Yes I am. No I am not. Fuck it! Who cares?
I am alive, I eat thrice a day, and I work like everyone else,
So what do I have to not be OK about?

So after slapping all friendly hands away I walk around with a smile on my face,
A smile littered with fakeness I wonder how nobody smells it.
Or are your smiles as phony as mine?
I wonder about your smiles, your laughter,
Does it sound as hollow as I imagine it?
Or do I just hope it does?

“Walk away demon! Walk away!”
I hiss between my teeth as a distant clock chimes.
Midnight demons, their feet sputtering all over my head.
“Dear God if you love me you have to help me!”
That prayer sounds as hollow as my laughter.
“Dear God can’t save you from a hell of your own creation.
Don’t you understand mate? You are home!”

I have a confession to make,
But then this entire nightmare has been a confession,
Everything is a competition.
A long winding race with no completion,
I am a lost soldier with no mission,
A ronin with no direction.
A man like me is sure to create demons for distraction.
But is it distraction I seek or is it destruction?

I can’t remember where I am from; I don’t know who I have become.
I remember a time when I actually had plan,
Go to school, get a job, and raise a family,
I remember a time when I wanted to be normal.
But I long ago took a detour off the highway to normal,
And I guess I simply never got back.
And ain’t no matter how hard or fast I run,
Sooner or later it’ll be midnight again,
Sooner or later, my demons will come knocking.

There ain’t saving me now mama.
Papa, you are better off without my calls.
Pals, you can’t fill the void in me.
It is just me and my midnight demons now,
And no matter how many times I say “I’m fine”
I chose this path for myself.
And when it is time for these demons to be the death of me,
Remember, no one outruns their midnight demons. No one.

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