You Are Going To Fail

(Editor Comment; this one is a short story, kinda. It’s not cheerful.)

You Are Going To Fail

The banner hangs on the west wall, stretching from one door to the next. An obese truth, always present.

You Are Going To Fail.

It towers on bill boards on the drive home, brandishing its words as I crawl past in traffic.

You Are Going To Fail.

It sits on my dresser at home, as mandated. It greets me like worn out slippers. I am going to fail.

I have always known this. Since I first went to school, I failed to get the highest grades. I failed to get the girl I wanted. I failed to get the boy I wanted. I failed to graduate first in my class. I failed to be captain of the team. My parents knew I failed, again and again. They hid their disappointment, and failed. I failed and they failed and everyone I knew failed again and again.

It was a relief when efficiency experts passed a report which led to a meeting which led to a bigger meeting which led to another summary report which led to an important meeting which led to a press statement which led to a political debate which led to a draft bill which led to another debate which led to a final bill which led to a bigger political debate which led to a new law which led to my bedroom picture. It was allowed to be said now, what I had had inside. I failed. So did you.

We still failed at work, but now we knew it would happen. We failed at our ambitions, but now we didn’t have to explain ourselves.

I failed to learn the piano. My study book didn’t judge.

I failed to be a smooth talker. They expected that, and laughed.
I failed to write a book, to get fit, to learn a language. So did everyone else.

It’s better, really, to fail.

I never fall.

I never hurt.

I never feel.

I will never live.

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