Cronic, can you hear the wind gushing from the vents, the blood blushing in your veins, the appetite of so many years gone by when you were made to watch and listen rather than eat what was right before you? Do you remember the sound of his voice when he yelled at you, called you stupid and insignificant and not worthy of the seed that produced you? Do you remember the voices crying out to you in the darkness when the light bulb shattered and the dust fell upon the broken concrete floor, cracks as fine as spider legs, as wide as your heart being stuffed into a shallow pit? You are moving away, away, away, not toward something that might not even exist anymore. It doesn’t matter what’s ahead, because it’s different from what is behind. Listen to the wind gushing through the vents and around your ears. It is the sound of movement, of motion, of distancing yourself from when you were a kitten, hungry for something that could not be defined, that could not be allowed. Stop moving and stare into the eyes of that ugly dog once more and see that he means you no harm, he means to show you the proper way to get away, with dignity and sorrow for what you’re running away from. It is all right to be afraid, but it is not right to remain timid of your past. You are a man now, not a frightened kitten longing for something you thought you needed, or deserved. You are a man with thousands of miles ahead of you, ribbons of highway that can take you anywhere and everywhere. Find a place where you can be content and listen to the wind around you, breathing with you, filling your lungs with newness and opportunity. Don’t be timid, don’t be frightened of something that happened a thousand years ago. That kitten is dead, as that man who frightened you is dead. He’s dead, Cronic. Reclaim your name, reclaim your life and your dignity. Running will bring you more sorrow and bloodshed and anger.

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