There was a time when I was young and a monster I was, because of what people had done to others and me. Today, forty years later, I am no more, the monster which I was because as I admit it, I have changed, I am older and I am more lenient now. I admit it, I am not as strong as I was before, I am weak compared to who I was when I was stronger. There was a time I could stay awake for days and pump as much iron as the strongest man around, and now, my body gets weak after only lasting a day but no more. I knew it was time to retire and fade away and put those weights aside.
When I was young and sharp in mind, I kept up with the smartest of them all. I ran circles around those gifted with ideas and although never a genius or a man possessed with a high IQ, I had a photographic memory, an instinctive intuition, that carried me through the hard times, without struggles like today, when I lose my memory and cannot sleep and a riddle my mind can no longer keep.
Today, I struggle to run with the young lions that around me they keep. They now call us old warriors, but warriors nevertheless and still hardwired and made of steel. And yet, when I look around, I see my old friends, still loyal to the honor bound. Some have died, some have disappeared or faded away, but some of these friends stayed with me to what I suspect will be my dying days.
Together we fought the enemy, many in number and twice as strong. We shredded them all and we could do no wrong. We were warriors then, and we are warriors now, but we carried no swords, only the radio, the cuffs and an occasional container of OC gas, that we dispersed at them to impair their eyes, and fought them all for most of the day to come out the best.
They came at us like vultures, expecting to be picking the flesh off our bones if we let them touch us, so we fought them hard and kept them at bay. There were no remainders, no one straggling as we had a code not one left behind - for we would stay until they could walk or be carried away. The odds were always ridiculous, the numbers were overwhelming and the mood was also sour or mean. Each day we worked our tour of duty, they tried to withdraw me from the life I had chosen, until the day of my retirement came.
As I would walk among them, without fear or dare and tow that thin line, they would hide from me but I would always find them hidden in the dark or shadows of the walls. Even in my dreams, I would find their souls plotting to take me out, but never succeeding because I knew them better than they knew themselves so I remained to be free from the harm of them all.
Some days were engulfed with hate, anger and wrath for those who targeted me to be killed. They would try to pollute my environment and choke me to suffocate but even when I walked the walls with loneliness, I fought them all. I fought them all without end or reason other than to survive. You see a man like me has to breathe free air, unlike those who wear the chains on their legs and struggle to move out to the light as the darkness kept them chained and bound.
There were days where I would shout, “go ahead, kill me if you can!" It was this arrogance of life that kept me motivated to be as strong as I was to defend myself every time I was confronted with anger or death. Every day was a test of life, and only the best would survive this test of life inside this gladiator’s pit where the value of life had been diminished to ashes and dust to dust.
My mere existence was always enough to offend you, to anger you or to cringe you if you exposed your weakness to me. But do not forget that as you raise your ire and show your weakness of emotion, I say to you, you flatter me, I see you fear me and that is all I need to take control of the matters at hand and serve you the punishment that you deserve.
Some call us mere henchmen of the prisons, some call us the whores of the system that is designed to keep men in ball and chains and kept in the darkness of the world they live in. Shit, we knew you had to do your time and your time you would do, no matter how hard it was, your time would be served or you would be killed if necessary to end that time, but time you will do. For you it was depressing, for us it was depressing as well. There was no joy in dying, there was no thrill in seeing you do the time but it was ordered you serve so serve you will.
We knew you could not continue like this, we knew your weaknesses would reveal how strong you really are. If you refused to come out of your cell, or ordered at will to obey and stand your body still, we would come and try to kill you for no one was allowed to disobey the henchman's will. So it was clear, it was us versus them, they would kill us first but they would have to overcome their own fears and get stronger than our strongest will to survive and be the one who would have to lay down or die, until the last man followed and obeyed the last command and do what it was to be done, with a broken spirit and fractured will. Until the last day worked or the last day waked we were monsters.... still.
Not a politically correct poem - take it or leave it, sometimes it was just like this and nobody can deny the mean spirited ways it took to survive the ordeal day in and day out. Some will like it, others will be revolted but then, I never wrote what others liked - I always wrote for own pleasures. How selfish is that?