“The Rant” Fiction by Todd Matson

I don’t mean to rant – like my father screaming at the tv while he inflates his blood pressure cuff to make sure he doesn’t have a coronary or stroke out when politicians and pundits lie and don’t care who gets hurt. 

And I take no pleasure in yelling at the dead! 

It’s just that, my God!  How many times does it have to be said that feelings don’t last forever?  No one is perpetually happy from cradle to grave. 

Annoyance can turn to irritation, morph into frustration, build to anger, cascade into rage, freefall into guilt, slither away in shame, stew in remorse in a fraction of a mayfly’s life. 

Fear may have the lifespan of a startle, a panic attack, a sleepless night, may come and go like the tides. 

God forgive me, but hurt may last as long as a skinned knee or a widow’s grief, but not forever. 

There are days when sadness goes down with the sun and joy rises with it. 

There are seasons when sorrow lasts for an arctic winter, as if the sun will never rise again, but the sun always gets around to rising, and hope stalks us like the rising of the sun. 

So how could you swallow the lie and act like no one gets hurt?  The LIE – that hopelessness is anything more than fleeting. 

Why couldn’t you wait?  Hopelessness is always eventually eclipsed by hope! 

Hope is a stalker.  Hope always finds us.  As sure as the sun rises.  But as sure as the sun would rise, you turned your lights out with a bullet to the brain before it could. 

Rise it did.  The sun.  With hope. And yet here we are, with you – or what remains of you – lying beneath my feet, with me beating the ground like someone pounding on a door where nobody’s home.  

Wish you were here.  You’re missing out on a sunny day.

Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling and has been published in Vital Christianity.  He has also written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists, including the Gaither Vocal Band.