‘Wondered Doubts In Real Time’ by Andrew Bradford

No doubt you’re still wondering why you asked. It’s not like you actually wanted to know, but the moment seemed to demand some kind of query into the darker substance of some hidden truth.  Then again, are there really any hidden truths left to be uncovered?

Maybe the whole thing has been a gigantic mistake. You’ve never considered yourself to be the marrying kind, yet here you stand, married with a child on the way. Dear God, make this ride slow down some, please! How can anyone hope to be a decent parent at the age of 40? The kid will be graduating from high school and you’ll go to the commencement with what’s left of your graying hair, maybe carrying a cane for support. What a depressing thought!

Your sister tells you that you’ll be a wonderful father, but what the hell does she know? She’s been married four times and her only child is not even in contact with her. This is the woman you’re taking advice from?

Also, consider your own family with dysfunction as its middle name. Mom and Dad divorced when you were 16. Dad has been married two times since then. Mom is slowly drinking herself into the grave. Not to mention the innumerable failed relationships you’ve burned through like so many votive candles.

You saw a clip on television the other evening. Some British artist you cannot for the life of you recall the name of now, but there was a gallery showing his work, and there was a flash of an image–there for half a second and gone so fast you thought it might just have been imagined–an image of what appeared to be a zebra. But instead of stripes, the damn thing had strips of meat. Was that even real? Then again, what is?

So many fucking questions, so many doubts! None of it makes a bit of sense. You feel stripped to the bone, beaten, no wiser than this time a year ago. But a year ago you weren’t married and a month away from being a father. A father?! Me?

You roll a joint and take a deep drag. If she knew you were in here doing this, if she had any idea, how upset would she be? Or would she be cool with it? See, you cannot even decided how she would feel about something as essential as some fucking weed to calm your nerves.

Closing your eyes, you take another puff and hold it as long as you can. Turning on some music, you resolve not to worry about any of it right now. There’s time for that tomorrow.

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.


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