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PERCENTAGES

I’m 100% sure that I’m not 100% sure who I am. I’m 78% sure that I’m not a good person. I’m 75% sure that I’m not a bad person. I’m 82% sure that my favourite colour is blue. I’m 100% sure that I’ve never used needle drugs, but I’m 100% sure that I’ve thought about it.

I’m 67% sure that I’m friendly. I’m 72% sure that I’m hard to get to know. I’m 100% sure that I love my cat. I’m 84% sure that I no longer love my ex-wife. I’m 75% sure that I’ll never quit drinking coffee. I’m 99% sure that I will never be a homeless drug addict again. I’m 100% sure that the amount of acid I did damaged my brain; I’m 72% sure that I’ve almost completely recovered, but I’m 100% sure that the idea that I won’t be able to fully recover horrifies me. I’m 62% sure that I will never see some of the people that used to know me, back then, ever again; I’m 54% hopeful that I’ll never have to see them again.

I’m 99% sure that I was sexually abused as a child, and I’m 100% sure that two and a half years of therapy changed my life and helped me heal those wounds. I’m 92% sure that I will never try to kill myself again. I’m 58% sure that I won’t eventually become an alcoholic.

I’m 97% sure that this sounds really negative. I’m 78% sure that I will never hitchhike again. I’m 23% sure that I’ll never get in another fist fight. I’m 100% sure that I’m doing way better now than I’ve been doing since I was sixteen.

I’m 73% sure that I’ll never see someone catch a bigger fish than my dad did last summer. I’m 78% sure that I’ll wind up becoming a grumpy old man. I’m 100% sure that I’m afraid of people I love dying, and I’m 100% sure that I always will be. I’m 100% sure that I don’t like hugging people, except for my mom and dad, and even then I don’t really like to, I just do it because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m 99% sure that I don’t know what the future is, but I am 100% sure that I like to pretend to know.

I’m 100% sure that I’ll never get my innocence back.

Tom Prime is twenty-eight and attends Western University in London, Ontario for Creative Writing. He was born in British Columbia and moved to Ontario when he was ten. He spent many years hitchhiking and being a homeless vagrant; much of his writing steams from these experiences. He lives, in relative happiness, with his cat Jackson.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

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