heading home in defeat (prodigal continued)

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

It was like I woke up amidst a bad dream that day.  Hung over, yet at the same time still hungry in an I’ve-not-been-full-in-a-long-time way.  Shoveling food to the hogs with my head aching.  Reaching for a handful of what I was feeding them, hoping it might settle my riotous stomach and bring energy where I had none. 

The hogs were pressing in all around me, squealing and pushing and chewing loudly.  The sun was too bright and the noise of them was too wet, too vile.  I shuddered at the noise of it, at the smell of them, at the way they pressed against me.

What the hell was I doing here?  I had left the farm to get away from the daily grind of raising animals.  At least back home, we didn’t raise these unclean animals.  At least back home, there were good meals to start and end my days.  The better, more exciting life I had come for was over.  I had run through all of my money.  Better and more exciting were now beyond my grasp.  Maybe they always had been. 

If I was just going to be a miserable farmer, why do that here?  Why not return to a more comfortable, more familiar place? 

I had run through all of my inheritance money and I knew it had been a sore point with the whole family, this matter of my taking that money in the first place.  There would be no returning as a son.  But my dad was good to his hired help.  He could always use another worker.  Maybe I could talk him into hiring me.  All my life our dinner table had been shared with the farm workers – shared freely.  If I was going to do this god-forsaken work, I might as well do it with a full belly and a place to lay my head at night. 

I didn’t even stop by my rented room to pick up my stuff.  Didn’t want to risk running into the building manager, who had been after me about my past-due bill.  Nothing there worth taking with me anyway.  I just headed down the road.  The sun beat down on me, my head kept throbbing and I couldn’t imagine how I would face my dad in my miserable condition.  Couldn’t imagine what to say.  Couldn’t imagine how he would look.  How he might respond t me.

What kept driving me forward, despite all of that, was the sound, the smell, the big bulky bodies of those hogs as they had pressed against me.  I couldn’t do that any more.  I would have to figure out what to say before I got there. 

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