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Checks and Balances

“The punch is the pull.” You say it to yourself even though you’re short of breath. You’ve just sprinted six blocks in the middle of the night because, in some flawed dream, terrible visions passed through you. You come to a halting stop outside her window, slipping the last step and falling on the wet concrete. You don’t mind because there are more important things to be considered.

“What does it mean? The punch is the pull? That makes no fucking sense.” Nonetheless, the words are burned into your thoughtstream, clipping away at every nerve that tries to supply your brain with contradicting theories. You shake your head hard, thinking that it’ll somehow knock sense into your skull. It’s like kicking the VCR to fix the blinking 12:00—brute force is only a temporary solution.

But a temporary solution is better than nothing at all. Rain starts pouring, and you start shivering. You left home without your jacket, and now you’re numb to the core. But you think to yourself that there are more important things to be considered.

The girl. The life. The money. The success.

Your life is a cliché. You wake up and think about tomorrow. You fall in love and wonder how long it’ll last. You hope. Mistakes become your defense mechanism for a brighter future. You cling to a pair of sun-drenched sandals that she wore when you met her under the boardwalk. You started singing in memory of The Drifters, but you weren’t Ben E. King. You expected perfect, white picket fences and a son who plays ball with you in the summer. You expected a 25th anniversary wedding celebration. You expected grandchildren named after you, and the most expensive coffin money can buy. But you never learned.

Never expect perfect. Rain will always fall.