Saturday, December 1, 2007

Prompt 11.2 Crossing the Line/Writers Muses

Prompt 11.2. Write about crossing the line. Talk about going beyond what even you would deem as acceptable behavior.

We all make mistakes, we do things in our life that we're not proud of. Things that given a chance to undo, would never have happened, and then there are those things of which we are truly ashamed.

My encounter with Marlene's mother was one of those. During a time when I was drinking too much, and living too fast, my behavior with her is so clearly etched in my mind as having been unacceptable that even after all these years I can remember the name of the child whose trust I violated but not the woman with whom I chose to have casual sex with while her daughter sat alone in an exam room.

I can't even begin to try and explain the dark place that my head was at during the months that led up to that incident, but, I can tell you that I reached a place far, far worse.  I can also tell you that because of the path I chose to embark upon I put other people's lives at risk and in fact was responsible for the death of at least one due to my negligence.

If I hadn't gone to the Congo when I did, if I hadn't experienced all I went through during my time there, I don't know that I would even be here now.  How do you thank people for giving you back your life?  Patrique's sacrifice was the greatest of all, for he gave his life to save mine.  Sakima was willing to put my life before not just before her own, but her daughter's as well. Finally, there was John, despite all of our differences over the years, he was willing to drop everything to go back and try to find me, all the while believing I was dead.

I don't know that I will ever fully understand what motivated each of them to do what they did, how Patrique for example, made the decision that his life had less value then mine. All I know is that had they not seen that which I couldn't, and then found a way to save me, I wouldn't have been given the chance to start over again, and for that I'll be forever grateful.


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