A Razor and a Bottle

The room was like a casket, walls too close, the floor too hard. There was only black, always black, an absence of colour equal to the absence of sound.

The blankets pulled, smothered and coaxed a chilled sweat from his shivering body. Each nerve pulsed cruelly and offered no asylum at all. No sleep. The excrutiating pain of reality. He closed his eyes tighter, made his fists tighter, tried to breathe lighter and failed. This is the tormented tomb of the lonely. Fair enough that not even sleep wanted to be near him. Yes, fair enough.

In the morning he jumps from the floor electric in his anger. It is slow insanity to watch the night pass. To watch the dawn break. To rise again to wretched life and searing sun and he’s so damned tired and who could take it and…a razor and a bottle. Little tools of the little fool who is nothing to no one and lost in his head. Never lost in sleep on the blankets he calls his bed. Who needs a bed? Beds are built for two and the lonely are always one. He is always one. He is always lonely. Doesn’t use beds. So, one sip then two and his head fogs a bit and the day begins to seem possible. Then a razor, a cut, the blood proves it-the day is possible. Alive again with no one to stop him or his razor or give a damn proves something else. Alone. He is alone.

On bad shaking legs he stumbles out the door and into the living room. There’s no one there. The couch looks too big for one. He sits on the hard, wooden chair. Television’s for sharing, laughing at together. So he stares at the floor. Hours pass and the noon sun hits his toes. He crawls to the bathroom. Crawls to feel his knees ache and scratch. Crawls because walking is for hand in hand. He only has his own hands. He sits under a spray of hot water, lets it drown his face while wondering how it is that he breathes through it. His skin burns and goes numb. Numbly, he dries off with his one towel. One person only needs one towel. He thinks about taking a walk or reading a book, a relaxing drive or a stop for some coffee. He settles on a nap. Of course, a nap with no sleep, so he pretend dreams. “Daydreams”, if you will. He’s not alone in these dreams but they are so false that he sits up choking on his own tears. Drinks some more. Cuts a little deeper with the razor.

He’d always heard it got easier when the decision was made. Heard that the heart even got lighter. How was it this last day could be as miserable as all of the others? Cheated even of that. He drank some more. He cut himself still deeper.

The blood was wetting the blankets now but not too much. He reread her letters, ran fingers over her picture, careful to keep both clean of his blood. He wrote her a song in his head. He kept singing, “Angel, my sweetest. Let this man kiss your hand. Just a little goodbye. I won’t trouble again.”. His voice choked up. He drank some more. He cut his left ring finger off. His blankets really started to darken. He couldn’t remember his song anymore. With nine good fingers he filled his mouth with gun-barrel and kissed the world goodbye.

She sat on her bed at home and tried his number again. No answer. She was sorry. When she’d fucked his best friend, she hadn’t been sure. When she’d lost him, she hadn’t been sure. But these past weeks without his smile, his hand on her back, his whispered songs in her ear she’d become sure. So sorry. She loved him so much. She called again. No answer.