|The Groundhog (standard:drama, 602 words)|
|Author: Cucicu||Added: Oct 10 2003||Views/Reads: 1859/1||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young man learns the meaning of life.|
The Groundhog I woke up one morning and she was gone. No note. No message. No wife. Just an empty closet. I drove all around town looking for her, but she simply had vanished. None of her friends knew where she was, or at least that's what they were telling me. In retrospect, I guess I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. I kept asking out loud why this was happening to me. I went back home and drank myself to sleep. It was almost a year before I saw her again. I was visiting the town where her mother lived and I saw her coming out of a bar with another man. She looked at me, smiled and said, “Sometimes you just have to let it go.” It's funny. In my mind I had rehearsed all sorts of scenarios of what I would do if I ever saw her again. I didn't do any of them. I just stared at her without saying a word. I didn't know it at the time, but that was the last time I would ever see her. I don't mind saying that I was really depressed after she left me. I even thought seriously about killing myself. One day, I bought myself a gun, and put it up to my temple. I wondered what it would be like to be dead. Although I was raised a Catholic, I was not convinced about the existence of an afterlife. In my mind, religion was just something humans invented to help us deal with the absurdity of life and death. I still don't know why I didn't pull the trigger. Soon afterward, my doctor put me on Prozac, but it was jamming up all of my emotions. I needed to feel my grief. One day I went to the park and fed the Prozac to the pigeons. When I was up early one morning, I saw an animal scurrying across my lawn. I didn't know what it was at first. It looked like a small dog, but later I realized it was a groundhog. He had made himself a nice home under my porch. Ordinarily, I wouldn't really care much about such things, but his underground passageway was making the bricks on my sidewalk collapse. One night, I tripped on one of these and almost broke my arm. The next day, I went out and bought a trap and baited it with apple slices. It didn't take long before I noticed something moving inside the cage. The sun was hot and I decided to get my gun so I could put the animal out of its misery. As I was walking towards it, the creature looked at me with its big curious eyes. I was amazed at how it just calmly sat there and stared at me. It was almost as if the groundhog knew his fate, and had accepted it without question. All of a sudden, something made me stop dead in my tracks. I had an odd realization that in some ways, the groundhog and I had a lot in common. We were both caught in a trap that neither of us wanted or deserved. For some strange reason our lives had become intertwined and whether our destinies were predetermined or just a collection of random events didn't really matter. From our own isolated perspectives, life could not make any sense, and looking for revelations for why certain things happen to us is useless. For a second, I used my gun as a mirror. Then I opened the latch and let the groundhog go. Tweet
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