Six Years After
I started measuring my life by one moment. There’s before it and there’s after it.
It’s not really logical to base it all on this one point in time, it’s not like in that moment my epiphany suddenly came down from the sky with wings and a puff of fucking smoke. It took a long time for me to see how stupid I was. It took even longer to figure out how to change. But hey, I’m not the most logical guy.
I think about it a lot. I have to. I have to understand the pain, live with the regret, deal with the fear. It makes me strong. It makes me grateful. So I put all the little moments in order, counting everything that matters, the good and the bad, when I was a coward and when I was the man he always thought that I could be.
The “before” and “after” helps. It’s like one of those weight loss commercials, you know what I mean? You need to see the mess you were before you can feel how amazing right now is.
There are better moments I could pick for this. My wedding day, or the day I was shot. Our first anniversary. The day my daughter was born. The day I woke up and I wasn’t afraid. But no one ever really stops being afraid, and these points in my life... they are miraculous and incredible “afters.”
The one I chose isn’t the beginning or the end.
I’m a fucking idiot sometimes. And I’m stubborn, and I’m grumpy, and I’m risky, and I think too much, and I'm brutally honest, and when I’m nervous I overcompensate and call him “sweetheart” eight million times, and I make decisions with body parts that aren’t my brain. Believe me, I know. I just have to go through some really tough shit before I can ever understand what’s important to me. But now I understand.
I was afraid for so long. It’s important to know why. It’s important because it made me the man I am today. He made me the man I am today.
Give me time. I’ll get there. I’ll figure it out.
My name is Jean Kirschtein, by the way.