Just a quick blast for Fragments of Fiction
He lay slumped on the floor nursing a bottle of Jack DanielsÂ and a nasty cut over his eye, not to mention an assortment of bruises and one hell of a knot on the side of his head.Â They said that with age came maturity and wisdom, but they forgot that sometimes anger trumps wisdom.
It had been a long time coming, this slide into oblivion. Oblivion was as good a description for his destination as anything else. It was easier to think of oblivion than to admit that he was engaged in a deliberate path of self destructive acts. How else do you describe picking a fight with three guys in a bar for no reason other than you hate yourself.
They had been sitting at a table talking amongst themselves. He might not have had any issue with them other than they made eye contact. The guy had given him the stinkeye. Wasn’t that how they referred to it on that television show. Between the pounding headache and the fifth of bourbon he had finished before starting on the Jack Daniels it was hard to remember details.
Not that it mattered. He remembered enough. Stinkeye glared and he told him to go fuck himself. It had the desired effect. Stinkeye stood up and issued his own stream of expletives. He probably didn’t expect to get hit in the head with the beer bottle. He certainly take it as well as they do in the movies.
You know, those breakaway bottles they always use in the Westerns. They just shatter on impact. This one didn’t. Who knew that a bottle of Bud could be so unfriendly.Stinkeye had crumbled to the floor. There hadn’t been time to gloat about it as Stinkeyes boys were out of their chairs swinging wildly.
They all went crashing to the floor where they did what they could to try and inflict bodily harm upon each other. But what they didn’t know was that he had already given up hope. He didn’t care how hard they hit. In fact part of him welcomed each blow because pain made him feel something and part of him liked that.
It wasn’t clear how long they rolled around the floor. Eventually the two started to get the best of him. In a different time he would have been scared about really getting hurt but not anymore. The only reason that he was upset was that their resistance made it harder to unleash his rage and pain.
One of them learned the hard way that a headlock was a mistake. They let their hand stray towards his mouth and he bit down hard. That was when someone else hit him in the head with something hard. Might have beenÂ a broom or a bat. Seconds later it was followed by pepper spray and the ignominous end to the fight in which he was bodily thrown out the door.
That was the one thing that was truly like the movies. While he clawed at his eyes and tried to see someone, or some people picked him up and threw him out the door and into the street. He landed on his side. For a while he just lay there bleeding.
After he saw the third or fourth set of legs pass him he realized that his suspicion of no one caring whether he lived or died was true. It made not one whit a difference that a man lay there bleeding in the street. As far as he could tell not one of them even looked at him, they just kept on walking.
So he picked himself up and staggered home. It took a few minutes to see the lock through blurry eyes and a few minutes longer to make the key work, but he managed to get in and stagger to the shower. He lay on the floor and let the water flush his eyes. He might have passed out as well, but he really wasn’t sure.
After a while he got out, dried off and half fell, half walked into the closet. That was when he noticed the gun. Nothing special, a little snubnosed .38 that he had for years. He grabbed it, a pair of 501s and a shirt. Sticking the gun in his waistband he wandered over to the kitchen and grabbed the bourbon and Jack Daniels and collapsed to the floor.
And now here we are, just a short time later. One empty bottle of bourbon, one loaded .38 and a bottle of Jack Daniels. It was clear to him that this was going to be it. He was going to finish the bottle and then enjoy the pleasures afforded by eating lead.
He wasn’t afraid to die. Hadn’t any concerns about whether suicide would piss off a non existent god. And if it did who cared anyway. Hell on earth or living in hell elsewhere was the same thing. On the other hand if there really was nothing after life it would be a nice change.
A moment of clarity punctured his drunken reverie and he reminded himself to be careful to properly position the gun so that he didn’t end up some crippled vegetable. He didn’t stop to write a note explaining his actions nor did he wonder how long it would be before they found his body.
It was immaterial. The people who cared were long gone and even if they still did he was useless to them. Just another casualty of a bad economy. One more man who was unemployed and had no prospects. One more big gulp and the Jack Daniels would be gone. And then so would he.
He’d place the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger. It was a happy thought and it made him smile. The absurdity of it all made him laugh. In a different time he would have stopped to think about it, but not today. He had an appointment to keep and he intended to do it.