Maybe Just One Thing

Wayne Michael DeHart   (February, 1996)

I have had few good days of late.

At age 47, I have discovered that my dreams will not be realized.

Such discovery was not sudden. I have known for some time that I have been losing control of my life. Those around me define it as simply a mid-life crisis, an awakening of sorts, to the debilitating effects of time and spent emotion. This categorization of my condition is not accurate. I wish it were that simple, but it is not. Nothing is simple when you’re tired and alone at age 47. Tired and alone and beaten down by too many bad days.

So often I’ve heard people say they would decline an opportunity for a “do over”, to be able to go back in time and live their life over again.

To accept that opportunity would be to reject one’s past and present. Such rejection would be an admission of dissatisfaction, of poor choices, of failure. It would be a sign of weakness of mind and spirit. It would betray family and friends, It would be indefensible and unacceptable. It would strain the soul and hurt the heart.

I, however, would indeed go back again. Without hesitation or trepidation. And I would do a thousand things differently.

Or maybe just one thing.

I would have seeded and nurtured friendships. My privacy and independence are false treasures I have guarded too closely through the years. To a fault, and to an obsession. Consequently, as I grew older (though upon reflection not wiser), I spent more and more time speculating, imagining, daydreaming, fantasizing  – always sure that there would eventually be time for fulfillment of every wish, every goal, every aspiration.

Time moves slowly for the young – a blessing unrecognized by those who count the days until they reached milestones of age 12, then 16, then 18, and finally 21. Milestones of graduation, marriage, parenthood and the meaning of life.

I counted those days. Such a fool. I want them back. Each of them. All of them.

I would stop dreaming, and start living.

But now it’s too late for me, so I’ll settle for a  wish fulfilled. For a friend – one that will help make tomorrow a good day.

A friend that will care for me and about me. One that will be glad that I’m here, and will notice when I’m not. One that will leave purple and yellow flowers at my marker.

One that is real – in a world where nothing else is.





8 thoughts on “Maybe Just One Thing

    • Yes, and unfortunately, 25 years later, I could just as easily have written it last week. In the poem, “The Fire in Jimmy Louis”, the protagonist, with far heavier burdens, essentially says “ENOUGH!”, and takes action – uncertain about the long-odds outcome, but no longer willing to accept that his life’s canvas of brown and gray, and not his wheelchair, represents his real paralysis. The “glorious greens and glistening golds” of life just always seem out of my reach. I will say, however, that sometimes, when my head clears and the images fade somewhat, I sense my own Jimmy Louis moment will present itself and that maybe, just maybe, I can, and will, find what has been lost, or missed, or both.


      • I wrote a long reply to this, but I see it disappeared🤭. The gist was that I think many of us who have lived hectic lives have not been in touch with ourselves, or at least in my case. Now suddenly these thoughts described in this piece are present. Everyone needs a friend(s). There are billions of people in the world and so many are lonely. How could this be?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Priscilla, my bad. Comments have to be approved, and the e-mail address attached to WordPress is not my primary e-mail address, thus I usually only check it about once a week. I approved the first message as well, which as you can see, did not disappear – I just failed to make it appear in a timely fashion. The point you make in both responses is well taken. So many people share the earth, so how does one become a recluse, existing more than living, when that is not the small corner they set out to find many years ago? The answer is at once both simple and complex. The solution is always just out of reach, and constantly moving. One might compare it to a greyhound chasing a mechanical lure around a track. However, in my case, and I suspect in so many other isolated individuals. I/we are the greyhound, which is unable to achieve success no matter how fast it runs. Yet I/we are in fact also the operator of the lure, with ultimate control of the outcome. Each new day brings the same unreachable goal – because something inside of those who are isolated allows it to happen over and over again, without truly understanding why. Our racing days are decreasing in number, unfortunately, and that just adds self-inflicted pressure to leave the tiny corner, take control of that lure, and stop it at last. If and when that finally happens, the front door opens and we re-discover life, and maybe cross paths with a person or persons who has found their way out of isolation as well, and understands how that happens and, more importantly, that it doesn’t have to be that way any more. Far easier sad than done, for sure, lest I wouldn’t still be perceived by some (who am I kidding – most!) as a mysterious Lew Louis. I just have to keep chasing that lure, and hope that the “other guy” that lives within, will slow it down just enough to end the chase and get on with living again. Maybe tomorrow, or next week, or next year … then again, that’s what I wrote 25 years ago. Just as it was then, the proverbial ball is in my court. I just have to make contact.


  1. I have to say that this is intriguing and I can’t help wondering about your experiences so well described or at least hinted at in your writings.

    I sense that many of us who have lived hectic lives are just now feeling what you felt at 47. I do not know myself as you know yourself. I keep telling myself I do need to do that. All of us need a friend(s). I am glad to be your pen pale😊

    Liked by 1 person

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