Are we bound to carry our flaws until our legs fail; until our heart quits; until our mind snaps? Can we really escape ourselves? I keep falling for the same old dusty traps. I still feel anger, dread, jealousy, anxiety, pain. They trap me; squeezing my soul inside myself. Adversity should make us stronger, better. But these days it makes me feel older, weaker. And scared. I’m scared shitless. Scared of becoming someone I don’t love. Scared of meeting someone else I could love. Scared of dying without the ones I love. Scared of goodbyes, and tomorrows. Everyone’s got a plan and a place and a play. I have none of these. I burned their map and their house and their script long ago. Now I’m alone and I’m bitter. Empty phone and I miss her. Broken bones and I’m colder. Maybe I should’ve stayed young longer, or forever. But my father failed and transformed into a phantom before I could fathom living without faith and freedom. Left me with a body to bury and no footsteps to follow. Only shadows to escape and chains to break. And an easy excuse for all my mistakes. Thank God I had an Iron-Mom to mimic. Beat the odds, and gave me a heart of gold to gamble with. I lost the guts to go all-in. But I see a mountain of smiles to win. So let me count my chips while I try to beat the Man. Will I find the courage to bet again?