I wanted to write. More than that, I needed to write. If it was dark and gloomy, morose and macabre, if it was fucking death, I needed to write it. Someone told me once, “Everybody has a story to tell.” I was of the opinion that everything had a story to tell, whether it was road kill, or a bottle of sleeping pills. I needed to tell their story as I knew no one would do for me.
My mind itched with the need for something morbid to scratch it. I glanced out the window and watched a blonde with a tight body walk by. She didn’t just walk, she paraded, knowing that whether it was a room full of people, or it was just myself, someone was always watching her strut, because with a girl like that, someone was always watching. The sound of regret rang in my ears with the click of every footfall receding into the distance. She had walked into and out of my life like so many others. That was sad, but not the fix I needed.
I looked around the room full of people. The pretentious and the poor swam together in a medley of superimposed stares. After twenty-six years of experience, the only thought worth taking to the bank, the only one that needed to be remembered was that the difference between the pretentious and the poor was nothing, because they both sought something.
Whether it was the old man with the Oliver People’s glass and Italian knit sweater, or the brunette with tattered jeans and a notebook, they both fell painfully into the category of human.
Now that is morbid, I thought, inhaling my cigarette like it was just another conduit between life and loss. I felt alive with my smokes. I felt important and artistic, and everything I wanted to be with my smokes. But I also thought of my grandmother with every burning drag, bedridden and sickly, bald and eventually dead. “No Ying without Yang, life without death, smoking without cancer,” I said to no one in particular, exhaling a little more life to make room for the inevitable death. I wanted to cry and drown myself along with everyone around me in my tears. And I smiled, holding the empty carton in one hand, and my pen in the other. I’d found my fix and could begin writing.
Sunday night writing.