This is not a rehashing of my earlier entry on the events of 6/5/07. If you’ve read that, you know what I think happened that day. That entry was about the events. This is about something different.
This is addressing a hard truth about why after all these years I still care about two days in my past. It’s hard to ignore that for most people, West Memphis would be a joke. They screwed up at a new job but who hasn’t. They’d tell it with bold laughter that would inspire warmth from their peers. I’m unable to do that. As the anniversary of tomorrow has loomed, I’ve actually felt a wave of sadness and pain. I’ve taken a long look at myself and I’m not at peace with what I see.
And I really should be! I’ve been at my job for nine years. Things are ok. I haven’t repeated that incident though I’ve made new mistakes. I’ve redeemed myself. I’ve even fixed a lot of mistakes others made. I can let go of this juvenile mistake.
Except this isn’t the only mistake I carry. That’s what this entry is about. The other wounds.
For instance I should be able to forgive myself for ditching a friend at the movies when I was 9. I was literally a child. I didn’t know better. Why on Earth should I still regret what I did when I was 9?
I should be able to move past the time my brother goaded me into prank calling a crush and I made an ass out of myself when I was 11. Again, just a kid. Except it was the most humiliating moment of my life to that date. But a kid.
I’m right to feel bad about having called a girl in my class and bullied her at the same age. But she’s forgiven me long ago. Maybe I can too.
I regret having rudely passed up my grandmother’s offer to pay for me to see a movie when I was 15. Looking back, not only was I a horrible ass to a woman I love dearly but I could’ve seen Life is Beautiful at the theater. That’s a movie I actually do kind of love, problematic as it is.
I also regret having been an ass on my birthday that year. As well as on vacation that year. And also generally interacting with humanity at 15.
I regret everything about my senior year of Journalism class. Like every second of it I was at my worst as a person. I was a terrible leader and my work was awful that year. I was a raging asshole to boot.
I regret the awkward way I handled a gift from a friend that summer, but less so. That one dovetails with happy memory. Miss that woman so.
My meltdowns in college will always haunt me but the one over Hot Fuzz not playing Little Rock was the utter worst. Especially since it, um, did that week.
And then past West Memphis, I regret things.
I regret the job interviews I was awkward at. I had no chance in any case so I should’ve done better. I was never meant for interviews but still.
I’ve made mistakes at work I’m still tormented by even after they were fixed.
I regret the meltdowns at work in my absolute soul. How can I not? One of them caused a nervous breakdown so bad I tried to leave the state the next day.
I’ll never allow myself to feel peace over how I wounded Brandi, the girl I dated before Amanda. I knew I wasn’t into her early but I strung her along because I wanted to be into her and thought I could force it.
Of course there are ways I’ve hurt Amanda, mostly by not thinking of her feelings. I can be very self centered.
And there are so many I’ve hurt just by not thinking. I can’t count all of them.
These are the moments I replay in my head in the dark of the night. They’re the moments I can’t forgive myself for. The times I was self centered and lazy. The times I just didn’t care. These are the sins I carry.
That’s why I care about reaching the 10 year anniversary of this day. Because I’ve reached the 10 year anniversary of one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made. It’s the centerpiece of my ledger. I want so badly to let go of these feelings, to not have this balance. But I fear that if I ever let go of it I might allow myself to forget.
But then maybe it’s time I do. I don’t know that carrying these failings has worked. Maybe writing this serves as a grand exorcism of my misdeeds. A public apology. I have hurt so many people and I will never stop trying to fix that.
I have sinned and I am beyond sorry.
Maybe someday I’ll apologize to myself.