lone wolf…

he paid attention to little things…tiny bits crawled under his skin…worried ’bout what people thought of him…always wondered who was out to get him…thought people talked behind his back…could hear ’em in his sleep…

the man lived in this fear that he wasn’t liked…lived his life alone…had tried love a couple of times…didn’t work out…he wasn’t cut out for the married life…had crazy thoughts that he was undeserving of any kind of love…called himself the lone wolf…his pop was a lone wolf too…

his old man left him when he was a kid…took off one night when he said he was goin’ out for a pack of smokes…never returned…didn’t send home any letters or Christmas cards with McDonald’s gift certificates in ’em…he just made himself disappear…and that’s what he did…just disappear…gone in an instant…

Darlene said he was a heart breaker…was married to her for a year or two…used to spend their time at the corner bar singin’ and dancin’ to old Merle Haggard songs on the juke box…would always end the night with Johnny Paycheck’s tune, Take This Job And Shove It…he’d sing it out loud at the top of his drunken lungs…,”I ain’t gonna work here no more…,”she knew he wasn’t gonna stick ’round…

just like the old man he took off in the middle of the night…he didn’t even say goodbye…left her the same way he’d left his first wife…on one side of the bed sound asleep…dreamin’ of security…’nough money to take care of ’em…maybe have a couple of kids…these dreams’ll kill ya’…

and he drove off…past 24 hour gas stations…The Country Buffet…strip joints emptyin’ out stragglers into the night…closed Chinese restaurants…the Taco Bell with a line of cars clear ’round the building…he didn’t stop for anything…got on highway 30 and just left town…thought he was leavin’ his troubles behind…but… troubles just follow ya’…that’s what they do…took him a lifetime to figure that out…then again…maybe he never did…

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