The man I used to be

Sometimes, I forget myself and remember the man I used to be. I look back, across a span of time so vast that it frightens me, to a life that was once mine. And I feel…

How silly I sound, so weak and pathetic. I am beyond such things, above them! Perhaps I do not truly feel, but merely remember what it was like.

They come, these memories, much like the ghosts that linger among us unseen. And, as when the veil is thin and those with reborn souls see through it, the visions are both wondrous and terrible. For, after all, memories are but the phantoms that lurk in the unknowable depths of the mind.

Good or bad, they are all the same to me. They rise from their graves and seize me in their bony fists. They drag me back to torment me with all I have ever cared for, with all that I have forever lost.

Oh, how sweet they are, or seem. How glorious it is for that moment, so bitterly brief, when I can almost feel what it was like to be alive.

Ah, to hear the laughter of those long gone. To feel a flash of anger from some ancient argument. To tremble in fear or to weep helplessly as the unyielding hand of nature plucks away one’s hopes and dreams. To hate, to love, to be hated and to be loved. All of it, everything, this is what I have lost.

You cannot understand this, none who breathe can know the real meaning of life until they breathe their last. Only when it tears away can you fathom what has slipped from your grasp.

When death takes you, may the peace of oblivion be what awaits you. Should you see this world again, from beyond, it will not be the same. Your eyes will be cursed, as are mine. By degrees, you will lose even yourself.

And this is why it troubles me to remember, to feel. This is why I am bothered to be reminded that somewhere within me still is a heart. It is because I know that I am nothing but the grim and horrid specter who haunts the darkness in my mind.

Joe Stanley
story by Joe Stanley

artwork maraisea

The Ghostly World Fictional Ghost Stories

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