The Path

I feel like everything in my life has led me to you. My choices, my heart breaks, my regrets.

And when were together, my past seems worth it. Perhaps if I had done one thing differently, I might never have met you.

You asked me why I love you.

You ask me the that like I have a choice in the matter; I didn’t ask to love you. It came naturally to me. It was a realization. I love being with you. I need you. I crave you. 

Your smile, your laugh, your eyes, your touch, your smell, your taste.

The way your skin feels under my hands. 

I wasn’t whole. There was always this piece of my heart that was missing. Tucked away, quietly sleeping inside of me waiting for you to come along.

It’s you, it’s always been you.

I never want to stop making memories with you. 


Expect the best and prepare for the worst. I’m suddenly very aware of the pit in my stomach.


I know I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself for this moment but I can’t help thinking there’s something more I could have done. 

Does that even make sense? 

I’ve pushed myself as far as I could but was it enough? 

That pit just gets deeper. 

Goddamnit it, Breathe. 

I’m so anxious I could puke. I close my eyes and try to push the others out of my head and focus on the task. 


He’s always there though. That little voice that grows into a scream about every little mistake and inadequacy. 


I’m so close to just calling it quits, but I’ve come this far. I stand up.

I don’t think they can tell I’m shaking. I used to be confident. 

That pit grows deeper… darker. 


Someone comes and talks at me. I simply nod during the appropriate pauses. He seems convinced. I’m happy one of us is. 

It’s times like this I wish I was religious. It would certainly be nice to have faith and a god that believed in me because I can’t seem to do it on my own this time.

Jesus… just breathe. 

Times up. I step forward and match eyes with a man. We bump fists and nod to each other and for a moment I wonder if he’s feeling everything I am. 


The pit grows. 




This skin is not my own…
It itches. It burns. It crawls. 
I’m a ghost trapped in this body. 
Some where in the space between the lies and harsh honesty. Desperately trying to find out who I am without her. Every Time I look in the mirror I don’t recognize myself. 
Hollow. Sleepless. 
This room stinks. I’d give anything to feel that familiar warmth again. Gripping this coffee mug like its my last shred of sanity.
My lost love. So many times cradled in her arms while everything fell apart around me. 
But she’s poison to me. Always there when times are rough but she only makes things worse when times are good.
I can’t bring myself to see my friends anymore. I know when I do, sure as shit, she’ll show up and I have to find a way to excuse myself because I can’t trust myself around her.  
False friends. Friends of hers. 
The ones I only see when they need something. The ones I only see when I need something.
I wish I could just be over her. Over the want. Over the need. But I’m not fit to move on. Not while I’m still hung up. 
She made me feel like a hero. A champion that could take on the world. Now with her gone all I feel is the weight of the world. Pushing me down.
Down into the darkness, where I have to bite and claw just to breathe. 
Would be easier if I just give in. Hide from the light and just melt back into the darkness. 
It takes everything that have to stand up. 
Everything that I am. 
Everything that you made me. 
I move to the bedroom. Staring into the dark. I step to the dresser and reach into the top drawer, 
I find it.
The last piece of her. 
I take it and go back to the table. 
As soon as I sat down I knew I had lost this fight. That I would never be free. 
I empty the contents of the bag from the dresser onto the table. 
It doesn’t take long for the muscle memory take over and my hands go through the all the familiar motions. 

I put the straw to my nose and inhale deeply. 

The static runs through my head. 

And then with perfect clarity… 

there she is.


Slow Writing by Chris Galvin

QWF Writes

Chris bakes muffins too

Like bread dough, my writing seems to require time to rise in a warm, draft-free place. The long proofing period is necessary; turn up the heat to hurry the rising, or don’t leave it long enough, and I get a stodgy, dense loaf.

Under ideal conditions—solitude, free time and excitement about what I’m writing—the words pour forth quickly. It’s exhilarating. But normally, I write when I can. I like to have control over an essay or story as it forms, and I edit as I write, considering each sentence as I put it to paper—does it say what I want it to say, or does it imply something else? I read what I’ve written aloud—does it have the right rhythm? Is my translation of Vietnamese dialogue as true to the original as possible? Does it sound natural?

The second proofing of the dough is as important as the first. Even…

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The truth is… 

The truth is… I’m not inherently a good man.  

I’m selfish. Quick to anger. Defensive. Lazy. Judgemental. Impatient. 

But I’m not these all the time.  It’s the fact that I am aware of exactly what I am that allows me to recognize these parts of me and alter my behaviour. 

I believe that people can change. It can go either way. It’s just usually a conscious decision to try to be better. I would certainly hope that people don’t often make the conscious decision to be a shitty person. 

Recognize your flaws. Move forward and try your best to be a better person. 

The truth is… We’re only human. 


Today. This day of all days, It rains. 

Someone once told me “The most broken of us are the most likely to change the world.”

If that’s true, I might just be destined for greatness. 

I stand quietly amongst the crowd. I look around at the patch work quilt of family, friends and strangers, as they lower the last thread that tied us all together into the ground. The last piece that truly brought us all together. 

My father shows no emotion. Why would he though? I wonder if they can smell the booze on him. I wonder if they can smell it on me.

My wife. My beautiful wife. My wife, At least for a little while longer. 

I want to be angry that she’s here. I want to scream and yell but she loved her as much as I did, maybe more. 

She places her hand gently on my shoulder, I turn and offer her the faintest of smiles. She returns the favour and hugs me tight. For a fleeting moment it’s like it always was. I inhale deeply, breathing in her smell and the memories of us.

I wish I could blame her for everything that happened to us. 

We grieved together at first and I was strong for her but as she learned to carry on, I drifted further away. I found my solace in the bottom of a bottle. There was no genie, there was no wishes, there was no message here… only despair.

I was told there is no word for a person who has suffered the death of a child. I disagree, the word is Lost.

I was lost and I couldn’t find my way back to my family. I went through the daily motions but just barely. 

Everything became about the drink and forgetting because every where I looked, I was reminded of my son. 

My son…

He never had a chance.

She squeezed me tighter for the briefest of seconds before she let go. She runs her hand down my arm and steps back to my daughter side a moment and places a hand on her back coaxing her towards me. 

My little girl steps forward quickly and wraps her arms around my waist burying her face in my belly and for the first time in a very long time.

I break. 

She’s grown up so much in the last 3 years. I wish I had been a bigger part of it perhaps a better way to put it would be, a part of it at all.

I failed her just as I had failed my wife. I loosen her hands slightly and kneel beside her, pulling her close. I should have never let her go. This moment seems to last forever.  I wish it could. 

I’ve lost so much time.

There’s so much loss here. 

I kiss her forehead. My daughter sniffles a few times and steps back to her mother. I stand and force a smile while I wipe my eyes with my suit jacket. 

I open my mouth to say something. Anything. 


My wife smiles sympathetically and says “I know”

I nod. 

I step towards the casket. The hole. I pluck a rose from the bouquet, closing my eyes I drop on the casket. 

I turn and walk away from the crowd. I can’t watch them throw dirt on the casket. Throw dirt on her. 

She deserved better.

Better then a dirt, better then a hole in the ground. Better then this world.

Better then us. 

Two ungrateful sons and…

I look at my old man. Stoic. 


Grinding my teeth. Vision blurry with tears. 

I reach my car, fumbling with my keys. Drop them. Shit. I pick them up and after what seems like an eternity I get into the car. 

I stare at the wheel and fall apart. 

Not sure how much time had passed. I managed to pull myself together, at least for the moment. I reached under the seat for the bottle. I opened it and brought it to my lips, I inhaled deeply feeling the burn of my lungs from the whiskey. 

Just a taste.. A nip… A sip… A shot…. A pull.. A draw… Just to take the edge off. To help me sleep. To take off the chill… To suppress… To smile… To remember. 


All I had was excuses to find my way into the bottle. I pulled the bottle from my face. I closed it and got out of the car. 

Bottle in hand, I walked towards that casket, through the family and friends. I stopped only for a moment to look at my wife and daughter. 

It ends here, it ends now. 

I dropped the bottle into the ground with the coffin. I heard gasps from everyone then just silence. 

I turn and walk away.

My wife squeezes my hand as I walk by. I don’t look but I know she understands. 

For too long I have let my problems bury me, today I bury my problem and start recovery. 

Today. This day of all days.