You stare at the little empty glass in front of you. The last one burned a bit, but you are starting to feel it less each time. Dark beer cushions your insides in between each fiery dose of mind medicine, and you wonder for a moment why there is only brown foam hugging the sides of your pint glass. You look up again to engage in idle world cup chatter for a few minutes, only to find that your glass has gotten smaller, and there are now two little red straws reaching up slightly over the rim.
Something is tugging at the back of your mind, pulsing really. You were so angry, but at the moment the reason eludes you. How are you getting home again? You aren’t getting home tonight, but you knew that, the moment you tore off like a bat out of hell. That type of extreme anger and outrage, it was liberating in a way, you are so used to being nice, and accomodating. You let hatred flow through you like ungrounded electric current, you shook, and closed your eyes, feeling waves of utter outrage break and crash into you, and you held out your arms, and let it in.
A small voice demanded calm, it reasoned with you, it told you to keep giving in. It reminded you that this is not the healthy thing to do, that this is not a healthy reaction. It threw memories at you, of better times, it opened lockboxes of feelings buried deep out of disappointment and disgust. You watched them unfold like little origami butterflies, getting wider and wider until they stretched to encompass the landscape of your mind. The voice narrated each one, reminding you why you were there, why you kept wanting to be atlas. It asked question after question, sounding certain that the answers would stay the same.
This night, atlas shrugged.
The voice gave up after a brute squad composed of fellows named jack, jager, and murphy gave him a solid throttling. You waited patiently for the next one to materialize and distracted yourself with a bit more idle chatter, and of course, you fortified your personal mind army, it seems fresh troops are needed quite often. The cold touch subtly crept up your spine, taking its time at each vertebrae, it was going to make you wait. You know who it is already, he visits you in the night on occasion, trying to do what you cannot bring yourself to do in your waking hours. His slight whisper commands the attention that a shout from the other voice could never do.
It whispers to you of despair, it logically deconstructs you, it strips your soul with the precision of an expert surgeon, moving aside feelings and desires like so much useless tissue. Homing in on your soft parts, your weak parts. He explains how much easier it would be, for you, for everyone, he reminds you that nothing you do is ever right. So much better to be gone he tells you, better for everyone. His cold touch stays lodged in your brainstem, as if he could finish it for you right there, by keeping a tight grip on your medulla. He shows you the train, he shows you the cars, he eyes the bar keep hungrily, he orders another one for you. You argue with him, pointing out that ending up a cripple is a far more likely outcome. You counter with memories of past injuries that should have ended with you on crutches, or just plain dead. Finally you both agree on something, your physical resiliancy is too big of a question mark to attempt such a thing.
He slips away quietly, crawling slowly back down the same way, stopping again briefly at each node, setting the skin of your back ablaze with tingles. You are alone again with your thoughts, and you realize that is never really a good thing these days. Two drunks behind you begin to angrily throw darts, and for a moment you consider getting up to join them. Instead, you ask for a pad and a pen, and you begin to write furiously. You are not sure what you are writing, but it doesn’t matter so much. You weigh all of your options, it is difficult to think straight at this point, but you muster all of your mental might and composure.
It does not help much at all, and you realize that the only thing keeping you from a joyride ending in a dance with a telephone pole is a stream of text messages coming from across the country. They are comforting for a reason you can’t quite put your finger on. You start to feel selfish all of the sudden, and you realize that you have never been selfish, and you should not start now. Rational thought seizes this momentary lapse and lands a clean shot on your temple, and you rock back in your stool. The bar keep asks you what happened, and you feign disgust at the replay of a french goal. He nods knowingly, adding that he will be rooting for italy as well.
You continue to write, about spiders and webs, and you think what lovely creatures they are, so useful and so talented. You try not to think about those poor little things being spitefully pulled out of bed, you try not to think about how you wasted your time calling out of work, you try not to think about the trouble you face when you return to work friday. Why, why, why, did you do that? You ask, and ask, and you keep asking, because you do not like the answer, you are waiting for a better answer. You understand that you are part of the blanket, we are all part of the blanket. Your portion just needs a wash, and perhaps a good soaking in some bleach.
The train rumbles by again, and this time you see yourself on it. But there is no where to go, no where at all. Vagrancy seems less appealing than it might have in the past, and you quickly dismiss the idea of getting lost in the huddled mass that squats on avenue A in dark clothing, drug addled, broke and diseased. You have seen it before, you have been there before, and you have no desire to see it again. Words flash across the screen in your mind, love, good, bad, old, young, marriage; The barrage of advice you have received in the past week or so plays in an endless loop as you view the words zipping by. You sneer at the word love as it zips by, tonight at the very least, you hate those four little letters.
One more, and the world melts away, one minute you are on a stool, the next minute it is morning, and you are sprawled out on the seats of your truck, apparently you slept well, but your leg is oddly aching. Not surprisingly, you feel as if superman returned, on your skull. You manage to drive the short distance back home, and you fall down as you cross the threshold to your room.
You thought you were doing something good, once again. And you were wrong, once again.
The anger has disappeared, and now you are just sad, because you understand everything, and it hurts like hell.