That night was still. I heard the silence of all those lost souls. I considered myself being one. I dismissed the idea very quickly and drank another gin. Straight gin was allegedly, the drink of alcoholics. Specifics for some reason outweighed quantity. The gin wasn’t really a choice, it was simply what was there.
The entire world had gone mad. Completely bat-shit crazy which was really saying something in this over-sexed, social-media crazed, smartphone obsessed cesspool that made up modern life. Douglas Garuder had long been a man whose time had passed him by. Hell, he still had an ancient flip phone with a long, spidery crack up the screen. Not that he ever used it. Since Joan had passed away some five years ago, there really wasn’t anyone he cared to talk to. Most of the time if he even remembered to look at the damn thing, he always expected her to call, reminding him to pick up eggs or some other mundane item at the grocery store. That feeling was always followed by the crushing, black sadness that he would never hear his wife’s voice again. At least not in this life anyway.
She knew why he hung himself.
Holly had just returned home when she heard her her mother’s screams. She ran upstairs and into her brother’s room.
“Here. We’ve got to get some sleep.” Bob hands his wife a pill and takes one himself.
Elaine pretends to put it in her mouth.
My friends thought it was a big deal that I was flying out to Los Angeles for a call back on a film. I had the initial audition when the director was in New York. A month later, he called to see if I was still interested. I was. I didn’t have anything else going on. The trip would also give me a chance to visit my father. I hadn’t seen him in years.
There was always a queue to get in, too many drinks in an easy pub before hand and you were in trouble. You had twenty stairs to practise your date of birth. Even at the bottom of them you could hear ‘You Spin Me Right Round.’
He died on a Friday.
The July heat was already pouring in through the weathered old screen as he perished quietly in his slumber. He’d always insisted upon the open window, even on the very coldest of nights. His wife would wrap herself in layers and layers of electric blankets in those days when they still shared the same room, time and circumstances causing them to slowly drift apart in their sleep.
Thirty-nine years as husband and wife. Decades of laughter and illness, heartbreak, and euphoria gone in the span of a single heartbeat. She would never know what did him in, only that he slept. She found him there in the first blush of morning, leaving the room before turning back and placing her hand gently on the bedroom door. The new day opened up all around her, petals on a withered flower, as she realized they would never see their fortieth year together. Continue reading