• Travis Ryan

Internal Dialogue

Its only natural that we’re super good friends… Its only natural that we want to kill each other at least half of the time...

The map was wrinkled, in reality it was more like ripped to shreds, or half way eviscerated. Either way you choose to describe it, it was our only hope. We’d come this far in the journey just to find out that the design we had been following was mangled and thrashed more thoroughly then the remains of suicide bombers. The only difference between us and the other side is they know where the fuck they’re going. Its wild how you can feel so sure about something that you are willing to die for it only to realize days, weeks, months down the road that the whole concept was not only the wrong needle on the compass, but a complete fallacy, dust around a candle, non-existent. This was starting to look like one of those moments. The Icey feeling began slipping in and out between my vertebrae like paralysis.

“What now?”


This idea and quest had fallen out of the sky and landed in my lap. We’ll follow the map, stick to the plan and it will pay off just as big as we all “knew” it would. Wishful thinking? All I knew was I could not keep my eyes off of the clouds, hoping that a better move or choice would present itself from the great blue beyond onto the landing pad on the top surface of my Levi’s. Surprise, it didn’t come, when he looked at his empty lap all he could see was the imprint of the .357 tucked in the waistband, and the dark spots of shame that were appearing at a greater speed as my tears hit the thick layer of dust on the denim. All I could smell for the past week was burnt cordite. The elusive fact about gun smoke and trauma is that the smell soaks into your pores, nostrils, saliva, urine, hair, nails, and psyche and wont release its hold on you regardless of how many times you scrub your hands with soap, or your brain with alcohol it’s all you can smell. I hadn’t used the gun in a week, but the situation in my head that continuously played out where I ditched the gun only to run directly into the worst-case scenario of a shootout, or even worse, Eternal physical incarceration.

The dust was now mud, when I asked…


“Why didn’t this work? Why are we chasing gold at the end of this rainbow? Did you not think that the shredded map would be a problem on this journey?”


My voice continued to rise until I was shouting, shouting until my face was beat red, and my lips were coated with a mix of salivary foam, and grime, the target of my anguish just stared back at me as blank and empty as my ideas for a “next move”.


“Why? Motherfucker … Why??”


The words were blending together in anger, the next move began to form in my head as the rage bubbled out of my skin, so hot that I could see the heat thermals warping my vision, my vision was all but gone when I wrapped my hand around the wood and steel grip of the pistol. The motion of raising it and aiming it at the subject of my rage, the soon to be victim of circumstance and my spite. And as I pulled the trigger again, and again, the feeling of confidence and sure footedness returned at the same time that the echoing sound of gunfire exited. my hand slowly opened and released its purchase on the pistol as I stared at the wreckage.


“You never knew where it was anyway… you didn’t have it in you to take us there!... you never even wanted happiness”


The shiny broken glass shards scattered on the ground stared back at me like an army of the undead, judging me for stepping outside the bounds of society, blank stares all around. The “map” or the many pieces of it, laid there underneath the horde in all of its green neatly framed glory, what a joke, the map doesn’t even have directions. There must be thousands of identical pieces, all saying the same thing. I should’ve looked deeper into the character of the man inside the silver rectangle before I took this journey.


I looked up to the sky and began to walk. The mental anguish seemed to become more of an afterthought as I took in the pleasant scent of moss, honeysuckle, and burning scraps of paper.



"Mad man Martyr" "Trash Peddler" "Distructive Creationist" "Author"

Travis Muffhuggin Ryan

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