I never imagined that I might end up like everybody else. Real life can be a bitch sometimes. Mediocre and mundane were words to describe someone else, not me. I was destined for greatness. Call me narcissistic but doesn’t everyone assume success. And in that big book lies the answer I know I need and inadvertently search for. I never thought of myself as anything less than extraordinary. I had semi-conscious ideas and dreams about so much better and that this was temporary; the calm before the storm of prestige. That’s probably why I always feel so transitional; I’m still waiting for significance. But while I wait, my ideas turn up from another and this town is killing me.

I swear there’s something about the air or water. Maybe it’s just me and the chemicals inside. It all boils down to chemicals really: what kills us, saves us, makes us feel pleasure or pain and I’ve added several bizarre chemicals to this test tube called body. But do chemicals affect the soul? I think some are caustic enough to eat away at innocence. I think I’ve stripped some of the enamel away from that inner glow that we recognize in a child’s smile. But even a priest has trouble with humility and laughing.

I never thought of myself as anything less than good. Bad was what other people did and were and I was not. Good was the default and seemed like the easiest choice. But if you dance with the devil, he always leads and sooner or later, you fall in step. And soon you’ll dance without the devil. What doesn’t turn you off, can (eventually) turn you on. Fascination and curiosity turn a grape-juice soul into wine. And after a while it becomes vinegar which no man drinks.

I always thought I had it in me to do that chance and take that step but they sent me back and I think I’m pickling my soul. I know that life has taken more out of me than I have out of life. I know that big, blue book can save me. But am I ready or worth saving or is bad the only thing I’m good at?