SORRY, CHARLIE

In America, the leading cause of death is cancer. But this isn’t America. In here, you die one of two ways: Suicide or Murder. In here, you either cash in your chips or someone cashes them in for you. I’m nearly there. I can’t find the exit. I’ve been stuck in this casino for months now and I’m losing my mind. The games are fixed, the drinks are watered down, and all the cocktail waitresses look like my ex-wives. I remember going to Atlantic City with you Charlie back when you could walk. Before you got tired. Tired enough to cash in your chips. I don’t blame you, kid. I’m starting to feel like you did. Tired of being tired. And weak.

I doubt you miss having someone open a doorwhile you push your wheelchair through it. You, embarrassed you had to pay someone to wipe your ass for you.
And to feed you. It goes ignored. It didn’t happen. What caused it?

What made you sick, friend? Was it chemical? A whole cocktail of deadly chemicals made by a subsidiary of Wagtail Industries? Was it Treglazov? He didn’t do it all, did he? I’m sorry Charlie. Those are the breaks, kid. If you had been holding that camera the night we got arrested.If you had the camera on that crisp October night in Flint. If they mistook you for the talented one instead of me, then maybe things would’ve been different. Everything would be different. That guidance counselor McKlesky would’ve thrown your file into the waste basket in dramatic fashion, only to take it back out, open it up and show you where life could take you if you just found something to be passionate about. At the end of the day, that was the only difference between you and me. You never found anything worth getting pissed about until it was too late. Now you’re in the ground and I’m tunneling under it. If I keep digging, I’m sure I’ll find your bones around here somewhere. And maybe nearby, I’ll find the buried chemical waste that rotted them.

-Zager