When I was in high school,
my parents expressly forbade me from playing
Dungeons and Dragons.
This gateway drug
servitude to Satan,
was to have no place in my life.
These were the same people
When I told them I was suicidal
and facing a depression
that made everything terribly dark,
my father in violent protest contended
that such things did not exist.
So forgive me when I tell you,
there were some things I chose to ignore.
The devil came knocking on my door
in the form of artist,
and longtime friend,
who let me borrow his second edition copy of Werewolf the Apocalypse.
Within which lay a doorway.
Not to Hell,
but to safety.
Secret shameless acts of cooperative storytelling and escapism
who were the Z-proof locks on prescription bottles of death
guided me into the ugly depths of myself
where I would find light;
and every reason to fight.
Each session was a lesson in dealing with monsters.
I learned that:
a) monsters are real,
b) the worst kinds of monsters look like you,
and c) every monster can be conquered.
I was trained.
I was armed.
I was looking for fiends.
And though I’d like to say
I slain every beast I set out to defeat,
sometimes I learned just to be happy
for having made it out alive.