Lone Wolf Pups

The Desperate Ones
By Jacques Brel

They hold each other’s hand
They walk without a sound
Down forgotten streets
Their shadows kiss the ground
Their footsteps sing a song
That’s ended before it’s begun
They walk without a sound
The desperate ones

Just like the tiptoe moth
They dance before the flame
They’ve burned their hearts so much
That death is just a game
And if love calls again
So foolishly they run
They run without a sound
The desperate ones

I know the road they’re on
I’ve walked their crooked mile
A hundred times or more
I drank their cup of bile
They watch their dreams go down
Behind the setting sun
They walk without a sound
The desperate ones

And underneath the bridge
The waters sweet and deep
There is the journey’s end
The land of endless sleep
They cry to us for help
We think it’s all in fun
They cry without a sound
The desperate ones

Let he who threw the stone at them
Stand up and take a bow
He knows the verb to love
But he’ll never know how
On the bridge of nevermore
They disappear one by one
Disappear without a sound
The desperate ones

I have a deep affinity for the lone wolf, probably because I’ve always been one.

The one thing I can say as my 50th birthday draws near is that it gets easier with age. I saw this because I see so many young people who are alone, or belive they’re alone and misunderstood and can’t imagine their lives ever getting better.

The truth is, things do get better. I can’t imagine my life ever being more unbearable than it was when I was 15. I’m actualy suprised anyone survives junior high school without taking poison or gunning down their home room. It’s a miserable age and it feels like it will last forever. But it does end. Your life gets better.

Even knowing this, I still have the overwhelming urge to walk up to random lone wolf pups, squeeze their shoulder and say, “Seriously. Just hang in there. You’ll be amazed at how much better the world will look in a couple of years.” I also have the urge to grab whoever is making them feel that way by the throat and bounce them off the nearest wall a few times because … well, because I can and nobody did it for me when I was a kid.

But that would be ignoring the fact that most of the evil sheep who make life miserable for lone wolf pups don’t even realize their evil sheep. They just think they’re normal. And they’re probably pretty miserable themselves.

I wish I had something profound to say here that made sense of school shootings, suicides and bullying but I don’t. The world sucks. It sucks more when you’re young and just learning how to survive in it. But if you survive, it gets better.

I can’t help thinking Jacques Brel said this much better than I have.

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