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I was taught to pick the safe choice
the secure choice
and safety, security were the gold standard of a good life
The wild and reckless were to be avoided at all costs
in situations
in jobs
in playtime
in people
The wild and reckless could not be trusted to keep you
safe and secure.

Promises were made
If you get a job
if you go to this church
if you only believe
if you live here, not there
if you attach yourself to these people, not those
never those
If you do all the things
correctly
perfectly
neatly
you will be safe and secure.

The lie, the illusion, was slow to appear
It didn’t fall away, more like
it became worn, threadbare
danger and unknown shining through
like the sun glows through cotton gauze
There is no repairing the worn spots
the illusion becomes evident
no amount of correctness
perfection
neatness
will keep you safe and secure

but it will my make parents happy
that I have lived
according to their fears
and not my own dreams
they are validated
I’ve parked between the lines they painted
and there were no repercussions.

(Or were there?)
The mileage is low
But what am I saving life for?
There is no market for a slightly used
low mileage life.

Safe and Secure are adjectives, not life goals.