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Prose

Perilous Waters

“The rules of maritime engagement did not apply. I was swimming off the shore and he sped by and clipped my head with his boat. Luckily, I didn’t lose consciousness and was able to drift and swim back to the beach. I do have a nasty gash, but perhaps it will leave a rugged-looking scar that I can concoct some heroic story from? No, that won’t work. There isn’t a fool enough out there to buy that I could ever be heroic. A victim? Absolutely. I’m purpose-built for victimhood. A lifetime of evidence to support it.”


“Don’t laugh. I’m not trying to be clever. I need to develop a backbone or some fighting skills or something resembling self-confidence. Pride and a dash of courage. I thought you were going to help me with that. I asked you to anyway, but you have a different intention, it seems.”


“You’re squirming a bit, so I think I’m right.
Maybe you spotted some larger, underlying issue and figured you’d chip away at that? Like I want to be here indefinitely? I’m already doped up so much I can barely stay awake after lunch. Subdued. Docile. Just what you want from a management perspective. Less cracking of the whip, but also less progress for me because I can’t track my thoughts from one session to the next. I’m disconnected and frankly I just want to sit and stare for hours. It’s usually only a few minutes, but it feels like hours.”

“I only know it’s not because of your ever-present clocks. Ticking so ominously when the TV is off. Reminding us that we are trapped. Letting us know we have no control. You love it. You’re not here to help me. You just want to tap out my insurance, then give me my shoelaces and point me back to the ocean.”

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

By jebrownwriter

Houston, TX-based Writer and Photographer. Proud pet rescuer who spends nearly all his money on them.

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