An altered life

Our altered lives have become our norm
The term “its five o’clock somewhere” floats everywhere in our collective atmosphere
We “wine” down
We put Chardonnay in a sippie cup for the stroll to the park with the kids
We “have a few” just to “take the edge off”
We medicate to go to sleep
To stay asleep
To wake up
To eat less
To cry less
We struggle to live, so we drink
We seek solace in a shot glass or a white-capped bottle
We struggle
We struggle, so we alter our reality
And it’s easy
The flame hits the pipe and the smoke delivers you
Drops off the magic carpet so you can ride freely away
Find the ocean in the trees
The quiet in the rain
Feel no pain
Forget who you are
or at least where it hurts

But, what if life itself, alters you?
What if war, alters you?
What if that child, alters you?
Cancer alters you?
A car crash, alters you?
They don’t have enough to smoke in Colorado for that to be, okay
So, where do you look when the room spins
The bottom drops
The phone rings

We are aggravated and agitated
We blow our horns and then our minds
It’s like glitter unleashed
Some things you can never get out of the carpet

Religion, can alter you
We pray in hopes that we will be delivered
Preachers call us to the altar to lay it down before the Lord
There was a lady that lived next door to me growing up
She had two daughters
The older one, was my friend
She was raised in church
She invited me and would ring our doorbell until I came out and went with her
She got sick in our freshman year of college
Because she was too sick to go to class
She came home
But because she wasn’t s student anymore
She lost her insurance
It didn’t matter that her dad was a fireman
That her mom sang in the choir
She soon lost her hair
Then her fingernails
And then, she died
Every Sunday after, when the church bells rang
Her mom started the lawnmower
She pushed that thing with a vengeance
She didn’t sing to God any longer
She screamed
She was altered

Where do you go?
What do you do?
Who do you become at your alter call

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