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There was a little boy who knew the world too young. A little boy, one who was never meant to bloom.

There was a little boy who knew the cruelty of circumstance, before he ever truly knew what beauty was, or light, or heaven.

There was a little boy who knew that when presented the chance, even those you love will hurt you, even when you do not understand why, even when you can’t understand why.

There was a little boy who never really knew what it was to be a man in a world made just for him, but not, but never.

There was a little boy.

There was a little boy to whom fatherhood was a biological concept, and nothing more. Genetics, heredity, insincerity, cosmetics.

There was a little boy who understood, fundamentally, that the world will disappoint you, every time, irrevocably.

There was a little boy who felt his way without ever really seeing where he was going because the light in front of him disappeared for no reason one day.

There was a little boy who learned to manipulate by example and hurt just as he had been hurt, because when you hurt, it is the only thing that feels real.

There was a little boy whom, by extension, equated hurt with love, and punishment with reward, and leverage with material gain.

There was a little boy who knew that the selfish would inherit the same ineffably pointless Earth as the meek, only sooner, with more stuff.

There was a little boy who was lost, so hopelessly lost, that his only compass was the realm of fiction, and the utopian ideals within that fiction, where true happiness was at least possible.

There was a little boy who learnt to hurt himself for the entertainment of others because that was his only true worth to the world.

There was a little boy who hated.

There was a little boy.

There was a little boy who would grow up, eventually, and try his hardest to erase the mistakes that he hadn’t himself created, but embodied.

There was a little boy who would come to realise one day that absence is the only truth in existence, and everything else is a malicious lie.

There was a little boy who would become that lie, and live it. Become that lie, and live through it, vicariously. Become that lie, and stagnate. Become that lie, that begets more lies, and more lies, and more lies, until lying is the default. Lying is the default against the reality, which is that of the illegitimate son, the wayward seed, the progeny of the youthfully fucking stupid.

There was a little boy who would bundle all of his resentment up into a little ball of hurt, his little ball, and nurture it with a bloody-minded fervour, an obsession, that would rival his passion for guilt.

There was a little boy who destroyed to make others feel his void so that they too would come to understand how cruel life can be. Perspective is everything, internalising everything is paramount, destruction breeds perversity.

There was a little boy who shut everything out, when that little ball of hurt become a Sisyphean boulder of disgust, every misdemeanour a pebble, flaking, rolling, indeterminate in the soil of distaste.

There was a little boy who preferred death to absence.

There was a little boy who preferred death.

There was a little boy.

The little boy is a man now.

The little boy no longer exists, which is to say he never did, which is to say he never mattered, which is to say that he no longer exists, which is to say he never did, which is to say he never mattered, which is to say…

The guilt recedes, the hurt remains, the resentment festers. The resentment mutates. The resentment borders on infantile, the inner child hurts for the grown man, who pines for the comfort of the inner child.

The little boy was a monster, but he was a product of his environment, made flesh in the tepid waters of young lust and poor decisions.

The man is a shell, a husk, a hollow effigy of childlike wonder lined with disappointment.

But he feels.

And in that, he is more human than the little boy ever was.

Happy Father’s Day.

Thanks for the baggage.