Saturday, October 17, 2009

He's smoking his last cigarette, standing on the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. He is walking north, toward Dinkytown. The old pea green army coat doesn't provide as much warmth as he needs to keep warm, and he shivers slightly as a cold breeze snakes up his back. His worn out boots swing passed each other in an old, sad dance.

He had been fired from his job that morning and had been smoking and drinking beer all day long. His eyes are watery and unclear. His mind is a jumble of anger, apathy, and despair. The despair lodges like a woodtick in his heart, a small, unnoticeable creature that slowly sucks the oil from his rusty motor. The rage bubbles up and he punches the metal railing, bruising his middle knuckle and causing a sharp pain to shoot up his arm. That hurts, he thinks bluntly. Fucking stupid railing.

He looks down into the dark water and thinks about jumping in, realizing how cliche that is. Probably wouldn't die anyway, probably just get soaked and frozen, catch hypothermia, rack up some hospital bills. His eyelids feel like anvils as he stumbles off the bridge onto a brightly lit street. Some well-dressed people are walking in clusters here and there, emerging from nearby bars, movie theaters, and offices. He feels a certain comfort being in the midst of people that seemed to have it all together. Not like me, not a loser who can't even hack a simple warehouse job for more then two weeks. They look at me and see the failure I am. It's written all over my face.

Fuck it, I just can't do this anymore.

He turns down a dark alley and looks for the right one. When he finds it, he takes off his stocking cap and wraps his hand in it. The car alarm bursts into life, shrieking a pissed off melody into the night air, as he smashes his fist through the rear passenger window of the car. The effort hurts his injured hand, and he throws the glass shard encrusted cap into the backseat of the car. Then he realizes that he can't get the doors unlocked from the back door. Shit.

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