And I didn't care.

    My shirt, ripped. Frayed at the end of each sleeve and a left pocket that hung itself from my chest by a thread. Soiled, caked, scuffed and ego undaunted, unchallenged. It brought this upon itself. It made me do this. Hate. Disgust. One in the same. For it.

    And the moon high in the sky, loomed above me like the ethics and morals of a good Christian; beckoning me to be just and righteous. A little too late for that, wouldn't you say?

    And the moon was angry with me...again. The dull glints of her feeble light all but fell from the dusty tip of the shovel that I balanced on my shoulder. So I laughed in her face and spat on the bright patch of ground she managed to reach through the trees, marring her masterpiece. Ending her attempt at optimism in the gloom.

    And I walked on through the forest with it in tow paying no regard to its travel. Rocks. Stumps. One in the same. For it. Tagged along behind me like a lost puppy would its abusive owner; the only owner it knew. The power was all mine.

    And cool air brushed my neck and painted a texture pattern on my skin. The trees stood tall and dark. Not a noise besides the sound of the soles of my benevolent feet on the dead leaves of the forest floor. They crunched and wheezed as I crushed the last breath of like from their delicate frames...and moved on for more. I knew this path well; like a good sailor knows his ship. I navigated onward, but without the stars as guides. Because they too had shunned me...again.

    And I stopped. Dropped my shovel.


    Empty. Lifeless.

    As was the forest around me.

    And the shovel at my side.

    As was the luggage I'd been dragging behind me.

    And the moon's light fell in mesh across my back and the forest, and it.

    And a light wind picked up and whispered through the trees like a gossip of wide-eyed old ladies. Gasping in disbelief at what they were being told. Apparently horrified, yet deep inside delightfully intrigued. Spellbound. They feasted their wide eyes on me, and my company. Waiting to see what I'd do next.

    And the same wind brushed past me, leaving me out of the "loop." Shaking leaves on branches and stirring the souls of the ones at my feet. Moonlight cascaded through the canopy and whirled around the forest floor. Like disco ball reflections at a devil's masquerade...and I picked up the shovel.

    And pierced the ground with its tip; enjoyed that feeling; reveled in that power. Again and again. Mechanical. Adrenaline pulsing through my veins. But I knew when to stop. Tossed the shovel to the side and wiped the sweat from my brow with the back of my forearm. I looked up at the moon. Anger wasn't the word. Unspeakable. I knew, for the light shed on me was a far dimmer than on my surroundings. Was she turning her back on me? She wouldn't dare. I had her attention now. That's all I wanted, her attention. For once in my life!! "LOOK AT ME GOD DAMN YOU!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. So loud my chest and throat burned!

    And I bent down to pick it up. Waste. Disgust. Picked it up. And carried it like a demon bride over the threshold to hell. I let go. Let it fall, to the hole, the shovel, had dug. Let it thump at the bottom. Let it lie, in the hole, in the ground, of the forest. The wind again. Whispers, gossip, clamor. Great oaks bent forward to see with clear sight my work. Like passersby at an auto accident, wide-eyed intrigue. Feeding the primal urge to see the heart of evil and the tales we only read about.

    And I pushed the earth on top, with my feet; kicked and scuffed. Stomped it down. Packed tight. "Good night" I thought to myself. "Good night" I laughed. "GOOD NIGHT" I yelled to the trees. (Laughter). "GOOD FUCKING NIGHT" I yelled at the moon (in hysteria)...who looked upon me with weeping eyes.

    And the breeze brushed by once more, whispers subdued. Too horrified to speak...the trees began to recede. No longer wide-eyed, but weeping as well. So I laughed. Laughed so hard my chest hurt...laughed so hard I cried.

    Laughed so hard I cried...

    Cried so hard it hurt.

    Clenched my eyes shut. Didn't want to see. Begged the moon to go away. PLEADED the wind to stop the raucous. Please stop whispering. Stop TALKING about me. Clamped my hands to my face to hide. Anguish. Agony. One in the same. For me...

    And I kneeled on the ground; a lonely shepherd at the altar of God. Cain asking forgiveness. Just kneeled. Vulnerable. Tears pushed through my fingers and traced a path down the backs of my hands, hung for eternity at my wrists...and let go. Nourishment for the soil in front of me. Apologies for the victim the soil protected. Contempt for the body from which they fell. The body had contempt for itself.

    And the moon watched me sob.

    And the trees loomed above. Silent now (at last). Still again.

    I didn't want to open my eyes, for I knew what I would see. Didn't think I had the strength but they burned from being clenched so tightly. Movement. Tremble...they fluttered open...and fixated on the mound before me. But that wasn't my concern. It was the numerous mounds that surrounded me. All through the forest. Some still new, some so long ago dug you couldn't tell they were anything out of the ordinary; except under the present circumstances. Oh, God. Please no. I'd done it again.

    I turned my head back to the hill in front of me; to the freshest of decaying bodies, and I cried some more. A lot more. Time stood still then. Everything stood still. No whispers, no wind...Lights up on the house. The masquerade had ended. The party was over. And I was left alone.

    Slowly, I stood. Unbalanced. Shaky. This sailor had lost the sea-legs he had sailed in on, and he was scared. I stepped away from the grave. Had nothing to say, and no voice to say it in, words were useless here. Still my lips formed the words "I'm sorry," with no voice to carry them.

    And I looked once again at the moon. My guardian here. She had forgiven. Something I would never allow myself to do. Never. She lit my path out of the forest to the highway...I didn't look behind.

    And I promised myself never to return. Swore in on my soul; what was left of one. But I knew deep inside I'd be back. I knew, but did not know how to make myself stay away.

    And I cared.