In Their Shoes

Been carrying this load now, weighed down for the longest time,

Shoulders slouched and knees tired, could’ve been a strong man but feeling just about fried,

Twin tormentors jockeying for position but equally loud and destructive,

Got your man running from one end of the proverbial spectrum right to the other,

Sights set on a particular path, planning and plotting to make it happen,

The outcome still uncertain but intuition dictates it’ll be worth it,

Just don’t tell that to the parents, loved ones too for that matter,

The script was written for me years ago, veering from it deemed acts of rebellion,

Standards and expectations, too, set from the moment of birth,

A metaphorical chokehold as far as I’m concerned, additional needless pressure,

Tried and failed so many times over, win-loss record favoring the latter,

Their prophecy unfulfilled with no contingencies, I must be a no-hoper,

Bad vibes permeating self-worth, nobody ‘round to talk it out with,

Why place trust in others capable of plunging daggers when you don’t expect it?

Every known relationship ever severed in the most unfavourable ways,

Barely a parting word exchanged, forget a sweet embrace, we’re talking bridges doused with petrol then setting it aflame,

Smiling through the pain, they won’t know shit this way,

But behind the mask an inverted smile, hovering over it the appeal of a self-inflicted demise. 

See you wandering about, your head up in the clouds,

Damn near bowling others over, they’re cussing at ya from right over their shoulders,

Looks like you’d had a heavy day or still stuck in the midst of it,

Word is you want out ‘cuz you can no longer take it,

Leave it to me to give you a dose of brutal reality, shit you need to hear,

That you’d never known true suffering, let alone absolute fear,

While your grown folks were upstanding mine were bottom of the barrel,

Drank, shot, snorted and swallowed what was within reach, passed their bad habits unto me,

Took my share of beatings at home and away, more than any kid deserved, certainly,

Just call me a heavy bag with legs, the shoe fits perfectly,

A lifelong nomad against my will, it was one eviction after another,

That was Mom and Pop’s way, I just inherited their traits,

Money was tight and it was my education or their vices,

Spoiler alert ahead, the latter took precedent,

The curse could’ve ended but fuck it the proverbial leaves ain’t turning,

Now I’m royally twisted like ‘em, draining every last fucking pay check,

Can’t live without the stash, though, no better way to numb the pain,

Experiences and inner torment just as potent as scarring from fighting and self-harming,

One thing lead to another and soon they made off with my lodgings,

Went through partners like used underwear, the little ones aren’t hearing it,

Now I’m here among the dregs, the ones the masses pretend don’t exist,

Can’t blame nothing or nobody, I’m programmed towards the self-destructive,

Desperate to fight back but untrained and too chicken-shit for it,

Stop and pay attention, Sir, this shit here be real life fucking problems.

You rail at feeling trapped, of expectations and needless pressure,

Because your parents believed you had it in you to achieve everlasting greatness,

Any idea how green many a face would be at that? That they cared enough to feed, clothe and raise your ass so you don’t fall right through the cracks?

If I’d had a taste of it I just might have become someone, but it remains a theory and always will be, just wanted a fighting chance but never was afforded one,

You grew up comfortably in a stable environment, finished school and now making a decent living,

Can afford to keep a roof overhead, to keep that belly fed, what others yearn for you take ‘em every day for granted,

Barely experienced the challenges others go through, daily,

Ever had to hide from murderers and thieves? Resort to drastic measures for lodgings and a decent feed? Sleep on the streets, come freezing cold or searing heat?

You ain’t been forced to survive the school of hard knocks and all her soul-searing tests,

Betrayed by your folks, stabbed figuratively and literally by so-called friends, tormented daily by even bigger demons than even the ones you think reside in your head,

Take a deep breath and venture out your cocoon, take a good look at the world around you,

That head been stuck so far up your ass that you don’t even have a clue,

Then you’ll realise the true depths of suffering, harden up and gain you some perspective,

Fuck your feelings and first-world problems, so much going for you but you choose to be blind to ‘em,

Hope that shit empowers you to be better, to count your blessings and be of service to others,

The ones for whom yours is an impossible dream, walk a mile in their shoes, it could’ve been worse for you, so pull your damn self together, Fool!

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