Stream of Consciousness

The Long Drive (Some Side Effects Include)

He sat, head pressed up against the glass, watching the lights begin to stream as they passed into his peripheral. Silence fogged the air between them. He motioned to say something, hiding meaning between the lines. The words never made it from his lips. He closed his eyes. Focused his thoughts. Let out a breath as the symphony drew in the lull into its grasp.

Six o’clock in the morning, feeling the drag of the day beginning to pull, he throws on the least dirty clothing he has collected on the floor. Seven inches of rain fell from the roof last night, contained to a single tin bucket he inherited from his grandmother. A pail that once rinsed off his chicken-poxed body as a child.

Three AM traffic coursing through the veins. He can’t tell what stands anymore. He drinks a cool glass of lemonade before injecting more junk into his cerebellum. Forecast calls for a freeze this summer. He calls for a fragile heart. He dials the phone number of some cheap hooker he picked up the night before and asked if she would like to see him again. Maybe off the clock. Maybe they grab a bite to eat. Maybe take in a seven o’clock show. Maybe a walk in the park. Eventually, though he regresses. Calls for a cab instead.

Four pills in the morning. Two in the afternoon. Seven if he doesn’t want to wake up the next morning. And ten if he doesn’t want to wake up at all. Side effects include drowsiness, trouble sleeping, irritation, dizzy spells, hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, implanted memories of a childhood love that never existed, migraines, remembrance of past lives, knowledge of the future, knowing the time and day of your death, seeing your grandmother who died twenty years ago sitting on the couch when you get home from work and acknowledging the timespan from the last time see saw you alive, seeing ghosts of people not yet dead, seeing ghosts of people who never existed, seeing the ghosts of pets and loved ones you haven’t thought of in years, hearing the phone ringing when no one’s called you in weeks, feeling like you’re already dead even though you can clearly feel the pulse at your temples, remembering your mortality, remembering that everyone you know and love will be dead and that  you’ll outlive some of them, remembering, remembering, remembering to forget.

A week passes. Then another. Then one more.

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