By: Ronald Hrubetz
I knelt down and held my hands in front of me. I don’t pray. I haven’t in 20 years. This has to be the alcohol acting out. I shouldn’t even be here. A sinner in a city of light. I sat back on the bench. I am utterly alone in this place. The lights are so bright and so many. I feel surrounded by it drench and drowning in the light. I take a deep breath and kneel one last time. I think quietly for a moment before crossing my hands. I need to do this.
“I guess it’s been awhile.. I don’t know where else to turn. This is my last recourse. I need you’re help.. I can’t get out of bed in the mornings. Id cry myself to sleep every night if i could remember how to cry… everything i do i do it wrong. Everything i try to feel is twisted. I dont know whats wrong with me. At this point i guess the question is what isn’t right? God, i’m lost.. In my own thoughts i get lost. I find things i don’t want to find. I think things i shouldn’t think.. I’m scared of it. I’m scared of how tired i feel. I’m scared of how very old i feel. Im sca-”
I cut off choking on tears. Sobbing, i sit and quietly whisper the rest of what needs to be said. It’s time.
I quietly stand. I tap the cold bench softly, hearing my ring clink of the stone. I walk slowly thinking quiet thoughts. I no longer cry though the tears still stained my cheeks. I no longer feel scared, in fact i no longer feel anything at all. The walk out of the cathedral is a long one. A quiet time of calm reflection. I feel much better and far worse. But i think my battle is over for awhile.
The street is quiet. I check my watch. 2:12 am. Too late to get a drink and too early all at the same time. I head down the block at a slow thoughtful pace. It was going to be a long morning. I speed my pace. This is time sensitive. I won’t be able to do what needs one if i lose the numbness that surrounds my mind. I turn beside to kum and go heading down main street. It well lit and yet dark as if the lights make the shadows that much worse to walk through. I finally tun down the sidewalk prelude to my door. I take out my keys as tho my hands were made of jello. I fumble and drop them on my shabby welcome mat. The L and O almost completely worn away. It read WE C ME. A sad sight to see even the most basic thing is helpless against the ravages of time.
With my newly recovered keys i gently and quietly open the lock. Pushing the door slowly to avoid its novel creaking. It’s time. I make my way through the kitchen grabbing the instrument of my normality on my way. I pull up the old wooden rocking chair my mother loved so much. It creaks slightly as i sit down on the faded cushions. The deep gravity of what i am about to do sets in. but it sets in on the edges of my mind just far enough away i can ignore its cry for me to stop. I set my teeth edge on edge grinding them slightly as i start my filthy purifying work. It takes almost no time at all and an eternity. It’s time. I sit back admiring my handy work. I love it and hate it all at once. The emotions crowd in and scream for me to stop and start a new. I lean back and let them in one last time..
She wakes up. A horrible feeling deep in her gut. She rubs her bulging belly feeling the little kicks in response. She smiles feebly. She can’t shake that feeling of dread. A deep dread she has never felt the likes of before. She starts by sitting up. Pulling on her slippers and waddling to the stairs where she slowly plops her feet down step after step. A slow dread filled descent.
As she entered the living room she could smell it. Her mind railed against her senses refusing to believe what they told her. She fumbled for the light switch finally flipping it on.
I lay in the chair arms crossing the chair arms. The words “NEVER AGAIN WILL I FEEL” carved in my arms. The pool of blood slowly expanding around the chair. The smell of iron filling the air. My blood. From my arms. From my handy work. The instrument of normality’s edge gleaming bright and scarlett in the LED lights.