Every Night

The same things run through his head every night;

The whisky bottle.  No, not back to that.  He’d been down that road.  He’d been to the bottom of that.  It was part of what got him here.

The other thing.  A series of sensations.  The decision made, then a kind of gentle hardening of his mind.  It will not change now.

He feels his face twist into a smile.  It makes him happy now, that thought which used to turn him so sad: no one knows where he is, what he’s doing.  No one cares, is wondering.   He does not have a thought-self, living in someone else’s mind.

He puts on shoes, and heavy clothes, in spite of the heat.  The feeling of lightness, of freedom, leaving all that behind.  He leaves the apartment without the mobile phone, the laptop, no books, no music player.  The stacks of records and books that he spent so much on, so much in time and money, they will belong to someone else now.  His face is concerned and focused as he locks the door.  Then he turns, feels the tether breaking.  He owns nothing.  Rid of it.

Wooden stairs, always creaking, about to fall apart.  He walks out the door of the apartment building, pauses, turns toward the trash cans.  In go his keys.  He drops them and they hit the trash inside with an uncertain scrape.  He smiles, an average smile, and easy smile.

Concrete, the sidewalk.  Smiling, avoiding eye contact with neighbors.  For a moment, he wishes for a soundtrack, for his player – but he has left all that.  He hops the thick metal rail.  Different concrete now, the walkway beside the wide road.  Up the bridge.

Tall fence gives way to short, waist-high fence as the land below gives way to water.  Not too much thought.  Snapshots.  He is standing on the bridge.  He is perched on the top of the fence.  He is in the air, a man collaged onto the open sky.

Then water.


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