By: Antwan Crump
It was dark on that tepid winters day, darker than most or perhaps that was just a sign from the shattered lens that was his sight. The sky bellowed a seemingly infinite desire to part, though this will was met with layer upon insubordinate layer of deep gray. “The time may be now” he thought, staring at pictures of his once beloved, taken before he could proclaim his true feelings. Today was the day that would end his suffering.
The preparation was fairly easy. All of the required items lay temporarily dormant; the rope, the whiskey, the note, everything necessary to make this last act as efficient, and more importantly, as obvious as possible. Ripping away from his computer screen, he glanced at his supplies in the corner, and admired his successful haul. “Keeping them all oblivious, may have been the hardest thing to do.” he said aloud to no one, and shared a laugh with his mounting anticipation.
The phone rang. He much enjoyed this ring tone, Beethoven’s final symphony. The irony wasn’t lost upon him, solemnly realizing he had done this weeks earlier, a precursor to his demise.
The room was silent after that, as he lay on his back. It was clear that he was comforted at the finality of it all. The thoughts of his past attacked him, though he dodged their assault effectively, deflecting their dissenting voice, with the knowledge that it would all soon be over. For the first time since his cognition, the voices were silent. He had finally defeated them.
“Purpose” he thought as he studied the sturdy beam on the ceiling. He wondered if the man who invented the home, a place for familial gatherings, social interactions, love-making, and peace of mind, knew exactly how many of those same people would use it for more finite reasons. “What if he hung himself?” he thought. “Of course he did, who could live with such an enormous misuse of their creation?”
This beam was his salvation. In an instant it would all be gone. The constant call of debtors, the reminder of progress missed and destroyed, the promise of god with not a single appearance, not even in this, perhaps the most crucial time for him to share some insight.
Rolling out of bed, he walked to his bathroom, on the way, he ran his fingers against the walls, memories of her flashed like yield signs in his psyche. “I will not yield” he thought, closing his eyes and holding a still frame of her in his mind’s eye as he reminisced about when she was more than just a fading memory, “better times”.
The shower water was pleasant to his ear. The raindrop-like echo sent him back, before he was this soon to be cadaver. When childhood was more than what it had become to him, just a romanticized fiction. Fiction that would lead to this freeing end.
He washed himself well, taking care to be overly observant of his more private areas, he hadn’t washed himself in days. Time seemed to slow as he gleefully watched the soap run down his body and into the drain. “If only it was all this simple”.
A thunderous crack invades the room, piercing through his meditative observation. “Okay, okay, I’m going!”he shouts, exclaiming to the ceiling. He steps out of the shower, blinded by his soapy face he reaches for a towel that isn’t there. Blinking through the burn of the liquid he squints, and settles for drying himself with his dirty clothes. “Something’s always gotta go wrong”.
At his bathroom mirror, he stood for quite some time. Impressed at his own emaciated physique. Looking at himself he laughed and said “It’s amazing how easy weight loss is, when you’re not paying attention, hell I could be in movies”. He decides the nightly news is far superior.
After a shave and brushing his teeth he leaves his cleaning quarters and returns to his room. “I should of done it there” he told himself as he layed back down.
An hour passed without a peep, other than the ongoing storm. This comforted him as nothing else did, for he felt it was an accurate metaphor. “What more perfect an end” as he fell to sleep.
Awaking to yet another thunderous crack from the sky, it was time to follow through. He sped quickly to the corner, where his final tools had been. He took the rope and tied it to the beam above, remembering the trusty knots that life had taught him.
His mind went into autopilot, as he tested the rope, ensuring it would not break. He tied the noose together with equal care, assured that its’ distance was just far enough from the floor. He stood back for a moment to take it all in.
He headed toward his closet to put on his favorite suit. The one they were married in, it meant something to him, before it all went bad. Now it had become nothing more than a detail for the coroners. He saved the boutonniere -it was now dry and withered, carefully placed it on his lapel. “It was her favorite, she did insist.”
He fawned over himself briefly then returned to the task at hand.
Setting up the chair, he thought again of nothing, but placing it perfectly under the rope. “There is no need for mistakes anymore, what would I learn from them?”
He took his phone from his pocket and selected his favorite playlist. The battery was nearly spent, but there was just enough for this. Connecting them to the speakers he laughed aloud and hollered “REMIXXXX!” -his sister always loved that joke.
The rope now around his neck, and his body just far enough from the floor, he stepped up on the chair, and waited for his favorite song, as he tried his best to ignore the slack.
“There it is” he whispered just before kicking the chair to the side. His neck snapped, he was gone. The music continued, as he hung, lifeless, swinging, side to side.
(music loudly plays as his body stills) “I’ve got a feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good night, That tonight’s gonna be a good night. That tonight’s gonna be a good, good, night..”
The battery dies, the room goes quiet, the corpse is still.