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Struggle On

My head is throbbing with exhaustion as I rouse myself hastily. The sun has yet to awaken, and is still resting calmly, the portrait of serenity, blanketed gently by charcoal colored nocturnal clouds. The moon, aloft precariously in the sky, is perched regally atop a sea of stars, shimmering beautifully. She grins down at me, offering assurance and strength, a whispered promise of my triumph over the day to come. The light may be blinding and scathingly infernal, but I will forever be awash in the cool embrace of darkness. My roommate snores brashly, blissfully unaware of the bestial sounds rumbling forth from his gaping maw. I stealthily skulk to the sink and run the tap over my awakening hands. Tepid, relaxing water runs breezily over my stiff fingers, shocking me into coherence as I splash it aggressively over my scrunched face. The water turns my pale pallor ruddy with blood, and, as always, kickstarts my morning ritual. I can sense and feel intimately my body regaining the spark of life. Drowsiness and fatigue give way to vibrancy and certainty of movement. A prmial switch has been flipped, freeing me from the shackles of sleepy limitation. I silently rouse my bedside lamp to life. As it flickers, an all too familiar sense of excitement is lit inside my breast. Hands at the ready, muscles engaged, passion ignited, I kick up and begin my set. As I fall from my first set of handstand pushups, I am greeted by a new world and fresh surroundings. Vibrancy has reacquainted itself with my perspective, and everything is breathing. I marvel at the deep, royal purple hidden within the black shrouds of shadow overtaking the room, can taste the morning dew wafting in with the dawning gusts of wind, and enjoy the warmth and deliberate sensation of blood circulating through my jovial physicality. I steal a quick glance at my phone and notice my 3 minutes are up. Drawing new breath, I kick back up and struggle strenuously against gravity, my own weakness, and the world. Day is breaking, and Im here to welcome it with a smirk.

My bank account has been ravaged lately by the trappings of opulence. Steak dinners, unsupervised, apparently add up, as do hotel rooms and excursions to distant, mountain bound cities. Although raised in privilege, Ive become familiar with poverty through the years, by choice and by circumstance. Similarly to Bruce Wayne, I forced my formerly recalcitrant, annoyingly arrogant self to endure and embrace the underbelly of society and living, learning to survive and excel by nothing more than my own wits and strength. I was prissy and refined, but longed to be powerful and rugged. So I eschewed the trappings of favor and cast myself into the cold, uncaring world. I emerged angry, vicious, and contemptible. Scarred, barren and guarded, but alive. Oh, so alive. Which is why I know I can survive this. Robbed of $200 in a poker game by Lady Luck herself, I merely smiled snidely and left. Hours of memorization and education had led to the moment. My victory a near mathematical promise, I matched money with my mark malevolently. 2 cards in the deck could help him, which of course meant that one of that dynamic duo had to float by on the river. I salvaged my annoyance and left. His luck was flotsam, flirting with him humorously. He was a fish swimming in an ocean of sharks, bloodthirsty and eager to feast. He would leave broken and shellshocked, his confidence obliterated and direction askew, winnings cast to the winds of fate. This thought brings me comfort now, yet I can do little but scowl, accepting but enraged when I consider that game. The skilled always win in the long run, but vitrolic Variance exerts his influence as we tread the Gambler's path, exacting his desecrating toll at every turn, crossing and landing. Ill live and continue to play, but only for sport, fun and side money. I will never again risk my livelihood on the turn of a mercenary card. Lady Luck is good for a one night stand or momentary tryst, but is ultimately a foul, repugnant whore, undeserving of my devotion or the spoils of my promiscuity. Ive survived the harshest Winter with its skin shearing winds, bathed in the ambiance of an archaic Spring, and clawed my way through the blistering, hellish Summer wastelands. Its long been time to surrender to the revitalizing country groves of sweet, seductively delicious Autumn. Thank God I have.

Minimalism is rearing its welcome head my way once again. This "champagne life", as my Father so candidly coined it, has withered away my finances to the point that Im once again on life support. Thankfully, Im quite familiar with how to make a dollar stretch into infinity. I take an odd sense of pride in my familiarity with poverty. Although we all aspire to affluence and abundance, the ability to continually exist with little more than a knife and some cunning emboldens me. Some of the best developed men the world has ever seen, Herculean in both physique and strength, attained their development during the Great Depression. Basic food and hard, heavy, repetitious exercises bestowed my frame, muscularity and ability upon me from my 18th birthday onward. In a sick way, this was good for me. I suppose I had grown soft and flabby, if not in body then in resolve and vigor. Ori Hoffmenkler mentions in "The Warrior Diet" that scarcity heightens the senses, bequeathing enhanced acuity and arousal to its sufferers. The world unfolds before them, in startling clarity discernable only to those select few predators on the hunt. I feel that this is me now, on perpetually heightened alert, eager to fight, conquer, and build. Too much languid lounging in a paradise of ones own design can tarnish ones shine, dulling the razor's edge. Life should be a struggle, one of achievements met, constraints broken, and obstacles overcome. My journey is beginning again. Come find me.

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