A Practical Solution

He gave up looking for the pills and looked around the wrecked room.

He’d knocked most of the things around in his feverish frenzy. Trying to breath calmly, he focused on his heart pounding against his chest and ignored his thoughts and the rising anxiety. It was worth trying.

He gives in, and thinks of alternatives. One presents itself. Not very healthy. Not very practical. But there is the promise of effectiveness.

He steels himself, walks slowly to the wall and leans, resting his head against the cold plaster. Slowly lifting his clenched fist he begins knocking it against the wall.

Slowly at first, just a gentle knocking. And then faster, harder.

Before long he’s pounding with all his might. Over and over again, with tears starting to flowing down his face.

A muffled scream escapes even as he clenches his jaw tighter. The fist stops mid air and he lets it drop to his side. The blood slowly trickles down to the floor into a pool, next to a smaller puddle of tears from his face.

He listens for any thoughts that might pop up. But there’s no space for thought. The pain dominates everything else.

Pain kills pain. The irony is not lost on him as he chuckles through the tears. Pain, the painkiller.

And then it comes. A silhouette of a face. A scent. The essence of a memory. Vibrant, alive, breathing.

His body shakes as a torrent of energy takes over him. Anger. Self-loathing. Despair. Pain.

But mostly anger.

He clenches his fist again and raises it and throws it against the wall with everything he’s got.

A crack. Followed by his bellowing.

He collapses unto the floor, writhing in pain, and listens to his own repressed screams bouncing off the walls, clutching his broken, mangled fist.

 

LATER

He lights a cigarette and watches the city’s skyline through the rain, smoke rising up in disturbed patterns. Patched up hand still throbbing, he focuses on the twinkling city lights with moist eyes. They were seldom dry these days.

He leans out the balcony and stretches out his better hand to the rain, and the rain embraces it with cold droplets. He looks down, 15 stories down. A long way to go. He sighs and steps back, pulling long and hard at the cigarette.

Death was a solution he couldn’t afford yet.

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