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He sits at his desk, writing. A box fan stirs the warm, moist air. The lights of a commuter train pass by outside, the sound of the bogeys on the rails dopplering away into the distance. A glass of liquor sweats into the cheap particle-board desk. He reaches for the glass, and takes a drink. The paper on the desk begins "I have chosen to end my life because" and trails away into nothing. Music can be heard from the next room. He picks the pen up and continues writing. A hypothetical observer could describe the look on his face as haunted, with reasonable accuracy. His eyes occasionally flick from the task at hand to the instrument of his salvation. It sits on the desk as well, an ugly testament to desperation and function over form. It was a gift once, and it is greatly appreciated now. The pen is placed onto the desk, and he gives his statement a once-over. The silence is broken.

"Fuck it"

He crumples his carefully written suicide note up and throws it into a corner. Reaching for another sheet of paper, he scrawls out one last sentence, calculated to cause the most pain to whoever finds it. Sorry about the mess. -A. This done, he puts his favorite piece on, and sits back in his chair. In one hand, a glass of cheap whiskey. In the other, a semiautomatic pistol with a round in the chamber. On his face, tears and a sick grin. As the chorus sings of completion and jubilation a broken, self-loathing young man raises a pistol to his temple. The piece reaches ear-splitting volume, and his finger tightens, taking up the slack.


The door to his room bursts open, and he snatches his finger away from the trigger. He draws the line at forcing someone to see it, it seems. She stands in the doorway, mouth open as if to berate him for the volume of his music. The look on her face is changing from irritation to shock. He is frozen in place, watching her, still with the gun to his head. She advances on him, her face now twisted in anger, tempered with just a little fear. She almost tackles him, one hand pinning the gun against the wall, the other coming back and slapping him. Hard.

"How DARE you, you selfish bastard!"
"How could you?! God damn you, you're all I've got!"

Both of their eyes go wide at this: his out of surprise, hers out of embarrassment. Her face colors, but she doesn't break eye contact. He speaks.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know. I won't go. What-"
"Shhh. Stay right here. Don't go."
"I didn't-"

She places a finger on his lips, silencing him. She lets go of his arm, and he drops the gun.
"You've fucked up enough for one night. Just let me stay, and maybe life will be worth living tomorrow."

I came up with this during a week in which the A/C was broken. Sleeping in 85 degree heat may have parboiled my brain. Listening to this track caused the story above to appear in my head in one unit. I'm sorry.

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