Sammy’s Pain

Sammy Flaxn grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. His only attribute was his athletic ability. Poor Sammy lived an only child. His father tended bar most nights, and was not home when Sammy returned from school. His mother worked hard in the local factory, then went out and partied like the year 1999. As a result, Sammy never knew the identity of his biological father. He did later gain a brother and a sister, both ten years Sammy’s age, and all conceived of different fathers. How painful for a child, three children, three different fathers, all unknown. And the man the three called Dad, had not biologically influenced any one of them.

As a child on his own, Sammy wandered, hanging out at the local bars. He didn’t drink, but most days he dared most to cross him. Sam tried and tried to mask the pain he felt inside, and he did a great job at hiding it from all, even himself, always smiling as if his life was in perfect order. But once someone “set him off”, Sammy became the best street brawler ever.  He had no idea of the weight he was carrying. It hung around his shoulders like a ships anchor.

Electing to take no notice of his encumbrance, Sammy grew up carrying it forward in his life, oblivious to how it was slowing him. In high school, he reached his pinnacle. Sam was the star running back, carrying his team to victory and a state title. He even became known as the open field runner, in his town. He was fast, agile and could cut through the pack like a surgical blade. Everywhere he went in town, he was met with accolades and “Atta boys”. The feeling was so good, so very delicious, that Sammy took it in like it was the smorgasbord of all times, eating every morsel, and always taking more, as it was always available. It was the greatest distraction of all for hiding his pain. He was always “high” on it and fought to stay there.

Sammy eventually married his high school sweetheart. They were the talk of the town. But when Sammy graduated high school, his life changed in that instant. The real world and work related activities caused the accolades to become fewer, and only delivered by those at the local public house. Work and a new job pulled Sammy away from his town. The praises ceased, except on those few instances when Sam visited. It was like a shot of adrenaline, those visits. Longing to keep that feeling, Sam created his own mythical world, in which he was the star, back on that high school football field. That was who he was; that was his identity; and that was his self-worth. On that field, he thought he was somebody. Creating that world, and distorting his real reality, masking the pain, keeping Sam right where he thought he wanted to be…pain free.