ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] siliconshaman, and LJ user Moriwen1. It also fills the "regret" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Don't Try This at Home series in the Schrodinger's Heroes project.


"When I've Chosen the Dark Side"


Eric sees TeJay sitting at a table,
studying out of a notebook,
thinks about going over to see him
and thinks about walking away real quick.

He goes over.

"Howdy," mumbles Eric,
mostly looking at his shoes
because it's still hard for him
to look TeJay in the eye.

TeJay sighs and closes his notebook
over his finger so's not to lose his place.
"Howdy. What do you want?"

"Thought I'd just ... you're off by yourself ..."
Eric flounders. He's no durn good at this.
"What're you reading there?"

"Stuff my shrink gave me," TeJay says.
"It's supposed to help me deal with shit."

Eric has shit to deal with too,
and he doesn't dare take up Uncle Chris
on the offer to get him a shrink of his own,
because it's a small town and
Eric would never hear the end of it.

"Does it work?" Eric asks.

"It's something to do," TeJay says.
He flips open the notebook to show
a bunch of printouts on different topics.
"See, there are explanations
about what PTSD does to your head.
Then it's got exercises on gardening
and creative writing and prayer."

Eric's no good at writin' or prayin' and
could just about kill dandelions. "Anything else?"

"Those're what works best for me,"
TeJay says. "I haven't tried
all the pages yet, though.
There's some on sports and
even one with a sledgehammer."

Eric laughs and leans over to look.
Sho'nuff there it is, demolition
as a way to work out your anger.
"Reckon this would be fun,
even if it doesn't help," he says.

"Could be," TeJay says.

Regret wells up again, and Eric
can't help feeling stupid and sad.

"I don't like bein' the bad guy," he says.
"I don't like when I've chosen the dark side."

"Fear is the path to the dark side,"
TeJay says. "Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

It's a line from a nerd movie,
but Eric doesn't care: it's true.

"What're you so afraid of that
you had to half-drown me?" TeJay asks.

"I got no fuckin' clue," Eric admits.
"Must be somethin' though."

"Pat and Chris offered me a job," says TeJay.

"Me too," Eric says. "I'm thinkin' on it."

"Think I'll take it," TeJay says.
"There might be sledgehammers, even."

Uncle Chris likes to build up and tear down.
"Reckon I'll try too, then," Eric decides.

TeJay gives him half a smile, and all right, that'll do.

* * *

Notes:

"I regret those times when I've chosen the dark side. I've wasted enough time not being happy."
-- Jessica Lange

Regret is a negative feeling about one's bad choices. There are ways to overcome it.

Healing PTSD is a lengthy process. There are things that supporters should know. Read about how to deal with feelings and reduce symptoms.

This website offers many coping techniques for PTSD. Mentioned above are ways to handle obsessive thoughts, with exercises on prayer, creativity, motion, and sledgehammer therapy. As Eric and TeJay are discovering, different things work for different people, and that's okay.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
-- Yoda
(Directly quoted lines don't count toward pricing.)

oh, YES!

Date: 2014-09-04 07:56 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Thank every deity ever known that my boys are /mostly/ past this awkward how-do-I-say-anything? stage, but it is painfully realistic for a /lot/ of kids for a lot of years.

You know, there's another advantage to the both of them working at the Tef-- /they/ will expect different things from each boy than the town seems to have. And that's not a bad thing.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-05 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labelleizzy.livejournal.com
yeah. I remember the one before this one.
this is good.

Thank you!

Date: 2014-09-05 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you're enjoying this storyline. I like watching characters work out their problems -- especially when they don't have the relevant skills to begin with, and have to learn as they go along.

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