7 comments

Happy Sad

I pushed the door of the bathroom, my shoes tapped against the ceramic floor of this empty bathroom. I used the urinal. I did not flush as the water seemed like it would overflow if I did. I walked over to the sink, washed my hands, looked at my hair, my tired eyes, the zit that had recently brewed itself. I dried my hands with my shirt — there weren’t any paper towels. I walked out of the bathroom and returned to the same. I live pretty near to where I work, roughly a 15-minute walk, so I walked back from work to where I resided in my small studio apartment that sat with sight onto a small pizzeria run by a guy named Dan. He would sometimes give me free fries with my pizza, so I’d probably hit up his store before I went off to the apartment. I moved from my home to this town that was about 40 minutes out of Buffalo named Penn Yan. Penn Yan reminds me of home. They’re both relatively small towns, where you could still breathe “fresh” air and see a sky without the presence of light contamination. I’d sometimes look out the window of the living room and point out the brightest star in the sky, as I did back home. Walking to where I lived I began to notice the condition of the shoes I wore, the only ones I brought from home before I had to leave. The one scratch it had on its leather on the right shoe, had been multiplied by 10 since I’ve gotten here. The shoes began to feel different, made it harder to walk without feeling some type of discomfort after a bit. The point being, they had changed. 

Apart from the shoes, I probably needed to replace a handful of items. A lot of the things I brought with me had begun to wear, exhausted of their constant use. They desired rest, so did I. I ran into Dan’s pizzeria, ordered and got my free fries and I tipped him a 5. I ran back to where I resided, across the street. Made sure to look both ways before crossing the street to avoid having a repeat of the time I almost got ran over when I first arrived here. It is a narrow road, and I once made the mistake of trying to run straight through thinking I was back home where the roads are broader and the visibility is better. There are cars parked on the side of the road which covers your visibility to see oncoming traffic so you have to peak your head to be able to see. I suppose it doesn’t take for you to live here for years to understand that, but the point being — I almost got ran over. 

I got into my building, shut the door softly as it does swing back pretty quickly and makes a huge noise. Defeats the purpose when I run up the stairs and make just as much noise, up until I get to the third floor. I live in apartment 23. Has been where I lived for the past 8 months. It has felt exactly like 8 months, no less no more. Time seems to move at an anticipated rate, where you can count your minutes, hours, days, breaths, steps, blinks— countless things. No, I don’t love spending my hours in my head, but it seems like I do that more and more every day. I opened the door, and I’m welcomed by the smell of the Vanilla Airwick I had recently bought for this place— it was mom’s favorite. I’d buy her one every birthday along with other gifts. It was a tradition, and in a way, I think it was her favorite gift. It reminded her of the pleasure that could be found in ordinary things, and that she had a son who also appreciated that. I was all she had, and she was all I had. Last Thanksgiving she began to grow ill, I didn’t make too much out of it. I thought it would pass like a cold. I even put up the Christmas tree and decorated it by myself to try and cheer her up. In a week's time, I’d find her at peace on her favorite bed cover. I moved 2 weeks after the funeral. I donated most of everything, and took the bit that I needed, and moved away. My mom always insisted that I’d move away and find a life of my own, but I could never. She needed me, and I needed her. I sat down and took 17 breaths. Got up and went to the kitchen and began to eat. It took roughly 10 minutes to finish the pizza. I left the fires for another day. I drank some water, then a bit of apple juice. I craved to have had some ice with it, but the filter needed to be changed and I had never gotten around to changing the filter for the ice maker. 

I pulled out a cigarette, pulled over the curtains, opened a window, and sat down on my chair. I saw Dan close down his shop. Soon his lights went out, and so did the other shops on the street. One by one they all left to their homes. I glanced to the sky and reclined my chair. My eyes were tired and my body felt sore. I carried 9 months of pain and agony it had begun to show. You can only resist so much until you begin to break down, decay — and frail away. I tried running away from it all. I grew tired and I could only walk now. It caught up to me and I couldn’t escape it anymore. I couldn’t force it away anymore. There I laid, confronting what I had set aside for so long. That night was going to be my last walk from work, my last walk from Dan’s, my last walk upstairs, my last dinner, my last smoke — my last breathe. It was then my mom's words that ran through my head at that moment, “where there’s a star, just know you’re not far from home.” She said that to me as a kid assuming that someday would come that I would have to leave or find myself far from home, that I could comfort myself in those words. I never knew what she meant, but that night she helped me realize that in some minute, some hour, someday I’d find home again. 

June 18, 2021 03:47

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7 comments

17:08 Jun 19, 2021

Very well written and the subtle details that hint the end are very clever. I loved the ending.

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17:12 Jun 19, 2021

Thank you for your kind comment.

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Nicholas Proctor
17:41 Jun 19, 2021

I find your inherit way of composing your stories very appealing

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17:50 Jun 19, 2021

Thank you.

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Bobby 2Pistols
17:17 Jun 19, 2021

Good story

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17:22 Jun 19, 2021

Thanks, Mr. Pistols!!!

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03:49 Jun 18, 2021

Please provide any constructive criticism.

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