Shards of a Life Barely Lived

I don’t know where this came from. I was in a strange mood, sitting in my dad’s house, also home to my step-mother and step-siblings, none of whom I got on with particularly well, and this just came out of me.

 

I was born to die. All my life I’ve known that I was put on this Earth to leave it sometime, someplace, somehow. Someone. I am not anyone yet. For now I remain no one and no one I shall be for some time to come.

I walked into town this morning. The first time I’ve been out since…

A woman literally stared through me. It can’t be hard. Most people either stare at or stare through. No one looks anymore. Not since…

She can’t possibly believe that. And yet everyone does.

I guess I am someone, just no one to like, no one to care for. Someone to die.

***

‘Wow, look at the time.’

The lines on my alarm clock read twelve thirty. Only four minutes until my favourite time of day.

Ever since I started thinking about that time, only occurring twice every twenty-four hours, it seems to crop up even more. For the first week I saw it every day – I just happened to look at the clock every so often, as one does, and there it was, thirty-four minutes past twelve.

Clearly I have some sort of supernatural powers. Or at least that’s what my mother would have believed. I believe in mere coincidence but maybe this is her sending me a message from the beyond. Maybe it’s penance.

Even I don’t know what I’ve done yet. What sin I’ve committed. What tragedy befell me. I am almost certain it will have involved death of some spectral sort.

‘How many minutes past the hour is it now?’

People may say my story is timeless. But, you may say, I have already talked about time. Was Little Red Riding Hood written before Beowulf?

‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’

I could start this all off with a cliché: it all began when I got out of bed that morning. The truth is I never got out of bed. The truth is it never began. The truth is…oh what do I know?

Should I wind up my record player? Should I go into town and view the latest Betamax releases? Should I watch the final Harry Potter film on Blu-Ray? None of it matters.

Harry Potter. The boy who lived. A bit of an ironic name for a fictitious boy. Maybe he lived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Twelve thirty-five. Better luck next time.

***

I wonder how it’ll eventually happen. Will it be quick? Painless? Who am I kidding? Certainly not you. Or her. Yes, her, sitting over there in her smug little corner, pacing around the room in her mind, not taking her eyes off my translucence.

She makes me jealous. I can’t see through her, yet everyone can see what I’m made of from first glance. Every bit of me seething with…well…

There’s a fine line between love and hatred. Even though I may never find out what I’ve done, I’ll always know what it was. There’s that fine line again. What was it and what it was. Who gives a damn?

Ah that’s just what I need – an ice cream truck. More like a van but everyone around here calls them trucks. Fine line, eh?

I need a drink.

***

‘Some brandy, sir?’

That sounds perfect. ‘Yes, if you would be so kind.’

‘So you were saying, about your wife?’

‘Oh I’d hardly call her my wife.’

‘But you’re married.’

‘She’s away on business. That’s what she calls it anyway.’

She’s fucking the boy who cleans the pool. She needs a good cleaning herself. Spring is coming.

‘I must say, she’s looking a lot happier recently. A lot more [pause] pert. If you don’t mind me saying so [afterthought].’

Wonderful things, afterthoughts. They let you seem like you care. My so called wife – ‘needless to say I love you.’

‘Yes, well, her business has definitely been picking up recently. I bet she’ll come back from her trip fully refreshed. Cleansed, some might say.’

She knows. This bitch knows. My “wife” must have told her. The Marriot Hotel, Parkside, room 403.

***

‘Don’t go in there. Don’t do it. Just walk away.’

Secret Window has never been more poignant.

Walk. Away. Now.

Victor? Who’s Victor?

Maybe that’s his name. No, he doesn’t deserve a name. I was never issued one so why should he? He can’t be that rich, he cleans our pool for Christ’s sake.

Or maybe that’s a ruse. A ruse to get himself closer to my gloria. She doesn’t have a name either so I don’t see what a Victor would want with her. Or a Vincent.

No one beginning with a V.

Nothing could happen if I go into that room. 403. Numbers. Just numbers. Probably the number of times they’ve FUCKED. In my fucking house, I bet. Between my sheets.

I can hear her. Her moans, groans. I feel unworthy of hearing the noises she makes in ecstasy. I could never earn these noises.

Forgiveness is out of the question. Do or die? No. Do or live with it. That’s more like it.

The door burst open more loudly than I expected it to. There she is. I’ve imagined this scene a thousand times in my head but not once was it like this. Not once was his ass so round. Not once did I feel this inferior. This no one.

What happens now?

***

A death certificate is a mysterious thing. It contains ones name, one’s age, one’s existence, and yet it solidifies their being no one. But I will die someone. I doubt my death certificate will show exactly how, but I will be someone. My gravestone won’t even touch the ground.

She swept out of there like the magic carpet. I bet Jasmine thought about cheating on Aladdin, dirty slut.

Romeo, oh Romeo. Wherefore?

It was just me and him. Not Victor, not Vincent, him. Just him. And me [pause] of course [afterthought].

It was as if time stood still. No afterthoughts. No after, no before, no during. Just one time. The whole Earth stopped its rocketing, jettisoning through time. Just for one time. Just for me. And him [pause] of course [no afterthought].

I walked, in no direction but out. I saw her tight, bare ass running down the corridor and imagined it being a motel parking lot. Stupid London. I love that ass. Unlike the woman carrying it.

I did love her. A long time ago. When she called herself my wife. That bitch in the brandy house knew. That bitch.

I was no one. And through being no one I found myself someone.

Yet this morning a woman looked straight through me. No one stares any more. It’s so impersonal. Everyone has to make sure that this no one feels like a no one someone, singled out as a no one. And so I must die a no one. A someone. Sometime, somehow, someplace I was born to die.

But, then again, isn’t everyone? [afterthought]

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