My Smile Was A Lie

By Wil C. Fry, 2017.07.20, 15:58

(Copyright 2017 by Wil C. Fry. All rights reserved.)

I well remember
Hanging by a thread
When I wondered if the world
Would be better with me dead

How I hated the shallow
Things that you said
And nothing about life
Was ever clear in my head

I tried to hide
From the demons inside
“The cold specter of insanity
Encircled me on every side.

I was feelin’ lonely
And you were never there
Couldn’t find anyone
Who ever really cared

Darkness fell around me
Every day I was weak
Cold ominous silence
In a world so bleak

Aware of my weakness
But unwilling to fight
Kept questioning reality
The worth of day and night

Warring against the world
Is what it feels like
Crying inside while all
You saw was my head held high

Feeling the pressure
Of a fairly easy life
Wanting to end the misery
But unwilling to wield the knife

Couldn’t imagine a future
With the way we treat our planet
I lost at love and feared
It was God who damned it

The angst and the fear
And the disconnection
Almost never led me
In the right direction

More than once I was broken
Instead of breathing I was chokin’
Trapped inside a mind
That couldn’t have spoken

I wrote poems to express
What I wish I would have said
Looking back, it’s a wonder
That no one found me dead

Too many times I
Couldn’t even cry
My eyes were dry and
My smile was a lie

It felt like a failure
Everything that I tried
Had a peek behind the curtain
But went along for the ride

Never knowing what is true
Not me or him or you
Never gained what I’d
Long been told I was due

When the whole world
Seems about to break
And I had already had
All I could take

So I know I comprehend
When someone else picks up a gun
Or pills or a rope or a knife
Because they’re ready to be done

I’m not saying that it’s right
Just saying I understand
Sometimes even winners end up
Losing by their own hand

The darkness is still in me
It lurks and waits
And to this day not even
I can predict my fate

I managed to find Hope
At the end of my rope
And I know I’m lucky that
I found a way to cope

I wish I knew your answer
Not even sure I found mine
And sometimes I’m not certain
That it gets better with time

Composed quickly upon learning of the suicide of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, on the birthday of Chris Cornell, frontman for Audioslave who killed himself in May.

The Linkin Park song In The End, which Bennington reportedly didn’t even like, seemed fitting to listen to today. The chorus has been stuck in my head since I first heard it in 2001:

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

My poem, above, is a trace-through of my poems about (or because of) depression, starting in my junior year of high school and lasting well into adulthood. Even today, though my life is happy, calm, and mostly undisturbed, there are still shadows of darkness in my heart that I am mostly successful fighting. I always take it personally when another person gives in to the demons that I once fought — and defeated.

(Note: I use “demons” figuratively here. I don’t believe in gods or devils.)

I had kind of a rap-rhythm in my head, for the lyrics, when I composed this.

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