For Sheldon

This is what I looked like six years ago. I took this pic for posterity, so that every day I’d have to look at myself as I really was - no human psychology getting in the way, making my mirror image look better than it really was. Every day I’d be smothered by my weakness.

It didn’t work. I forgot, I took more pictures, I got weaker. I’m half the man I used to be, if I was ever a man at all; now it would take twice the effort just to get close to where I used to be. I’m older, sadder, more tired and less hopeful.

All I have to comfort me are my twin sons, about to enter preschool; the memory of their mother, who died giving birth to them; and the gaudy lumps of shitty metal my writing career’s somehow gotten me.

None of it matters. I will never be man enough to own up to it all. The best I can do is to make a good life for my sons, and to push them to be better than I was, no matter what. Let the devil stop me - I will make them strong, every way I know how.