I walked out. I see myself staying post-marriage and post-children, but still walking out. Becoming someone else’s shitty father. Leaving handwritten notes. My hand is already tired; I am already tired. I take another sip from another glass of a familiar drink. I become a modern-day version of my heroes – still present; I’ll let them find their own. Just like I did in the presence of my father’s absence. Did I select incorrectly/did I make the wrong choices? Do I give in too easily/do I submit myself to losing? My mother learned shorthand in school; one day my already weakening skills will become relics of the past as well. The wrinkles in my forehead: the imprints of my own frustrations. The lyrics I’ll remember from forgotten nights: sung in a slightly different time signature. I obscure all that I reminisce. I drink another sip. It’s not too late to walk away: I’ll wait until it is. A wide-eyed deer standing in the line of fire: too tired of choosing any one direction to take a simple step. I stare down the barrel of a loaded gun: waiting for the end to come: to be placed carefully over a mantle as a pretty prized possession, with only a molded grin to show my teeth.