Monotone. Tedious. Exhausting.

Day to day, night to night. Same chores, same job, same schedule, same life.

How could one take it all? Painful how the days were all just the same. Every day painted with the same ugly, boring, gray paint.

Every morning the same words would repeat.

“Maybe I can make today different.”

Nothing would fit, bringing back the reality of a monotone, tedious, exhausting life. Go up the stairs of the apartment fire escape. Lay a blanket down and lie in the cold wind of the night. The ledge was so close, take a couple of steps closer, and you could see the cars driving by. People driving to go do something for themselves. Maybe they were having dinner with friends, going on a first date, engaging in a secret affair.

It didn’t matter what they were doing. They were doing something with their lives. Good or bad, their lives were changing. They had enjoyment. They had meaning.

“Why couldn’t I?”

There was a solution. Most would fight and argue that it was the worst solution, an immoral solution. Nevertheless, it could not be denied that it was a solution.

No more monotone conversations, no more tedious schedules, no more exhausting days.

It would only take a couple of steps. Arms out, eyes closed until the ground would hit. 

Each night would get a little closer; there was always one more step left. Only one more to escape this life.

“Maybe tomorrow will be different. I’ll give it one more try.”

One more try.

New day, a new chance.

Skip the oatmeal for breakfast. There had been ads for a new breakfast sandwich, looks good, and sounds good. Leave for work a little early and try something new. Maybe this was the way. Perhaps something small could be the right change. Maybe, just maybe.

The woman at the window was nice enough, timely delivery, in and out within five minutes. This could be the start of something beautiful. It was too good to be true.

And it was too good for a very short amount of time.

The sandwich had soggy bread, there was too much salt, the lettuce was wilted, and the eggs were burnt. Not a single bite was enjoyed, just eaten out of hunger. To make matters worse, the coffee lid was not put on right, and the whole car smelled like an Americano. 

Sitting at work was uncomfortable. Clothes were becoming stiff from the dried-up coffee, there was no shower or spare clothes. Boss came over and made a comment about professionalism.

No solutions, just more problems. More, and more, and more problems. A try was given but ultimately failed. Just like the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that. All just nothing but failures.

That brings us back to the ledge. A dark, cloudy night. Wind was howling, hitting the skin like shards of ice.

It could be over. 

No more chores, no more job, no more schedules. 

Lean over the ledge a little more; get closer and closer to the solution. The cars ran by, one by one, shining like lanterns.

One more step, only one more, but it wasn’t taken.

“Maybe tomorrow would be different. I’ll give it one more try.”

One more try.

There must be a way to add something new to excite life. There was an ad on the morning news for a new pet store. Pets are exciting. Animals with fur were out of the question. Fur allergies were awful to deal with. Maybe something small would be best to start. 

After work, a trip to the pet store was made. Aisles and aisles of pets were available for adoption. There were lizards, snakes, turtles and birds. Birds were an immediate no. 

The fish were cute. Small. Manageable. This was the one.

“Maybe things can be better.”

There was a new addition to the family of one. A goldfish now named Shiny. Lame name, but it was the first thing that came to mind. Shiny had a new bowl, rainbow rocks, a water filter, and high-quality fish food.

For the first time in a very long time, a smile was worn the whole trip home. There was a hustle in the steps into the apartment to go set up Shiny’s new living quarters.

The fish swam around the new environment. The whole night was now dedicated to family time. The fish came to the kitchen for dinner. Followed along to the coffee table to join in watching the late-night news. After that, following along to the nightstand to spend the night beside the bed.

“Everything is coming together.”

Everything was good. Too good to be true.

The happiness didn’t even last a full day.

Atop the water was a dead fish. A small funeral was held in the bathroom. No words, just small tears. More was going down the toilet than a fish. It was a chance, a hope. Now swirling down the drain.

The day was dreary. It did not feel monotone or tedious that day. It was disappointing. Day in, day out. No matter what, nothing could change. Nothing would change.

Nothing could lift the mood. Conversations with workers was non-existent. Tasks felt repetitive and frankly very annoying that day.

There was still one option. One solution.

Back at the ledge. It was quiet tonight. Not as many cars. No clouds let the stars and moon glitter through the sky. The silence of the night made the ledge seem louder.

Right there, only steps away were the solution to all problems. It was an off switch. It was an end to everything.

“I’ve tried too many times.” 

One more step closer. All hardships could be gone.

“I’ve tried too many tomorrows.”

Another step closer. Toes were at the edge.

“Nothing has gotten better, no matter how many times I’ve tried.”

Eyes were closed, arms spread wide out. One more step to reach.



A step back.

“Maybe tomorrow would be different. I’ll give it one more try.”

One more try.

Just one more try.

All the way down the fire escape and back to bed, to go and try one more day. Sleep away yesterday, try one more day.

 “Maybe I can make today different.”

Maybe its better to be ever deciding, then to ever decide.

March 17, 2020 19:14

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20:58 Jul 04, 2020

Mood. I relate to this so much... Well done :)


Lynn Penny
02:14 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you. Hope you are doing alright :) My door is always open.


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Graham Kinross
13:14 Nov 17, 2021

I got this. The Tokyo version is a train. All too common. The change needs to be the job. Good story though, harsh but real.


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