Routine has never been a specialty of thee. Actually, there were those not so distant years of routine where I was a displaced crusader of superior presence living amongst the homeless. Still, routine is not something I do prosperously, but to rise above the depths of despair, it is a mountain that must be assaulted.

Routine:

Snuck out of stolen house.

Take small pack with all belongings on bus to place of employ.

Work. (Eating available scraps and sharpening dulled skills of observation.)

Read anything available during breaks.

Return to stolen home, house.

Shower.

Sleep on lounge chair.

Repeat.

The journey will take me somewhere. I want my compound back. I want to feel alive. I want to right...and I must admit I accept I will do wrong. I want to bathe in stickiness. I want to be shoved into a wall. I want to feel my elbow across evil’s jaw. I want to be. I want to feel. I don’t want to be alive, I want to live...I want to forget the word I...and that journey requires routine...for now.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

There are times I am afraid nothing will change...and there are times I am afraid of nothing...

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

There is a purpose for this journey, I am sure.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Someone must die. Death is inevitable.

Repeat.

Repeat.

I am going insane.

Repeat.

Repeat.

I must be retarded, there is no way the world is as stupid as I seem to think.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

A good book.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Looking up at the stars, telling myself that the repetition of emptiness leads somewhere, I heard grunts on the other side of the wall surrounding the backyard. It sounds like men fighting, but they seem to be having fun.

Though I hear them most every night, I have not looked over the wall because of the need to keep the house stolen for the purpose of rebuilding a life found. But the incongruity has drawn curiosity and monotony of routine has increased the level of acceptable risk.

Sometimes I’m afraid nothing will change because I’m afraid to change the routine required to change.

The decision to stick my head over the wall made.

Grunt.

Groan.

Crash.

Looking over the wall, it was bright enough to see the traditional backyard was not for this house. Where most would find lawn or a pool or a patio, an outdoor space was covered with mats. On the mats were two well padded men bathing, while a third stood off to the side, watching, occasionally offering single word instruction.

“Tight!”

“Back.”

“Arm.”

“Out!”

The two were going at it, until their coach stopped coaching and stared at me.

“What’s up?”

The tone indicated challenge, the question being irrelevant. What was to be determined was whether I wanted this to be an opportunity or an incident.

“What’s up?” I answered.

“Can we help you with somethin’?”

“Nope. Just checking out what all the commotion was about.”

“Now you’ve seen it?”

“Yeah. Can’t help but watch. Haven’t been on the mat in a long time. Kinda miss it. Not even sure I remember what to do.”

And the door was open.

The young men saw me as a potential training dummy, and within a couple of minutes I was over the wall and rolling around the mat in pants — I had no other gear. They beat me to a pulp, but with every move I felt my instincts slowly return. I began to remember what I should do and my lame muscles slowly responded. The beat me, and I came to life.

Trying to stay focused on the path of rebirth, I said little. Apparently, they knew I had stolen the house I was living in and offered to rent me a room from them for a few bucks and some coffee grounds, and I could train with them. It would be nice to be able to come home through a front door, and the rent was absurdly cheap, so I could continue to save for a replacement compound.

“Sounds good. I’ll take it.”

And with that, I found a room in a legitimate home, where I could feel the pain of my body being pushed through the birth canal of training as a passage to rebirth. And the room is furnished with a TV?!

Routine:

Same + violent, physical training.

Things are improving.

Sore.

Work.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Pain.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Damage.

Repeat.

Muscles burn.

Repeat.

Black eye.

Repeat.

God, it feels so exciting, yet so calming to be alive, to feel.

Repeat...

Repeat.