Quotes that Say Something

"Please, dad, get down and look. I think there's some kind of monster under my bed."

Life when seen in close-up often seems tragic, but in wide-angle it often seems comic. -- Charlie Chaplin

"And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear, you shout, but no one's there to hear. And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." -- Roger Waters, "Brain Damage"

Apr 11, 2011

Winner Takes All

My hands were still shaking, because four and a half weeks had gone by and they had not, like my jilted love, been fed. My thoughts mirrored them, fidgeting and wracking back and over my mental 'scape from one alarming thought to another. Though it would be so satisfying, or so I thought, to get out of hospital scrubs, pack of Kools slipped down into the breast pocket and a ( ___________ ) tucked into my left pants pocket, just in case I really needed to grab something. Or someone's -- sturdiness.

I had been told it would be therapeutic, as in calming and as in constructively soporific, for me to pen journal entries every day, a couple of times. Especially when I felt this miserable. The iron-handed man with whom I was about to meet had contended this. God, I hated him, improbably named White,  and his gray wizard stares. The worst thing he had ever said to me, I now recalled. I just could not get why I let his contentions get to me with such guile.

"Winner takes all," White had said.

Bullshirt, I said to myself. "Don't try to feed my that," I said, unable to disguise my surliness, lamely hiding behind lame humor. I expected suddenly for him to leap out of this work chair and clasp his calloused hands around my newly-shrunk and breakable neck.

"Did you write anything?," he said. Unmoved. Unmoveable.

"This is my last," I said.

"What makes you think so?," he replied icily.

"I'm posted to get out. Remember, sir? Breakout time. I'm just about to go across the bridge." I laid four white, legal-size sheets on his desk, by my left hand.

"You are going nowhere until I sign-off," White said implacably. He nodded, a bare tip of the head, to a security guard who materialized behind me, by the suite's doorway. A moment of breathlessness shook me. I sat on my hands, literally sat on them. I hated it when they shook and people saw or when I had to clasp hands with another.

"Well, let's get it started," White said. With a swipe of his hand, he grabbed my papers. With a look more serious than I could have ever before conjured, stupor or no, he read how I now put the pieces together. The guard pulled back into the hallway, judicious but not more than an athletic leap away.

I had written on the paper, in pencil:  I have lived many fruitful and some fruitless years, and I never really thought it would happen, that I would actually kill off another person's seamy existence. Other than my indefatiguably controlling and perennially pissed off former spouse, I had never really felt a bona fide temptation, like I would genuinely accomplish it (until lately), to murderously end the life of another, even one of the crudest and most cruel members of the human parade of losers who have invaded my life. And as an addict (euphemistically in full-blown recovery) you can imagine how outlandish some of those human dregs have proved to be. Whenever anyone asks me 'why did you do it?,' I invariably respond by claiming that he earned the shot, deserved it more than anyone I had ever met, and that I did our wounded race a humongous favor. Homicidal anger though is a shrieking, self-destructive, and nerve-fraying spin cycle, a topsy-turvy thrill barrell-roll of a ride as some call it, from which one never comes back wholly and which depletes one's self-justifying spirit indelibly. My plan called for me to pay out $5000 in untainted currrency, which I did, for a bullet to the back of a monster's brain. But I learned something long hidden in my heart (after the money had been doled out) when, with my good hand and arm, and a trifecta of tiny white Oxycontin tablets, I suddenly cut another down, in an irresistible-impulse rage, with extreme prejudice, as they say. Too bad for me and my dim future that I did this deed in a church, gun protruding from my left palm, as religious tune whined out from a synthetic organ, on a Sunday morning, while about a thousand eyewitnesses looked my victim, who also whined miserably when the metal hit him, and me over with eyes agog.White glanced up at me, his forehead wrinkled by rejection, sitting on my downturned jittering palms and fingers.

To Be Continued