It all started with a reflection in the mirror, and ended with the distinct sound of fracturing. I repeatedly, forcefully and purposefully slammed my head against it. Blood was dripping along vertical axis. Along white porcelain, boxers, and floor. The mirror was shattered and so to the façade of a retched fucking existence. A whole lays scattered on the floor with edges and points and sinew and nerves left exposed and raw. There was only one question left, one question that could ever be muttered from these lips. Who the fuck are you, and what have you done with my life?
I put my hand down and inside. I reclaimed what was mine.
It all started with a reflection in the mirror. This is an arbitrary statement, a misnomer. The mirror was merely a catalyst for the revelation, a facilitator for the realisation. Twenty years of bad decisions, supplemented with a dead-end job, a frigid wife and a shit for a son will create one tiny mass after another, that over the years come together to form a cancerous life.
I haven’t had sex in two years. I haven’t had sex with my wife in four. I fail to remember the last time I masturbated. Sometimes I wake up during the night with my penis in hand, and try to see it through to completion before the dream of whatever spurred it on recedes to my subconscious. This rarely happens.
My day starts the same way my day always starts, with my feet squirming on ceramic and my eyes squinting under florescent. Sometime ago my life fell into a pattern of mundane predictability. I blame my job for this, twenty years sitting at the same desk processing insurance claims. In the last two years four men in my office have died from heart attacks. One of them was younger than I am now. If I’m alive in ten years I’ll be old enough for my pension. I can’t decide if sitting all day in my house would be better than sitting all day at work. I miss the old days when I was still able to maintain an erection for long enough to fantasise about banging the office manager. Now I just sit at my desk and watch the smug little bastard who will one day be my boss stare at her tits every time she walks past.
She sees him when he does it. She likes it.
On a Friday night, the office descends on one bar or another. It doesn’t matter where. They all look alike. They all serve the same purpose.
Fluids flow forth.
In the morning detested.
We’re gathered around two tables. The bar we’ve stopped at is exceptionally busy, even for a Friday night. The younger members of the office prefer it that way. They enjoy the atmosphere generated by a crowd mostly their own age. After several drinks I understand why, the laughter and music is an infectious combination. It’s easy to make connections and take an interest in the people around you. Normally, on nights like these I would just have one or two and then leave.
It’s near eleven o’clock before the bar quietens down; most people have left to go home or to go out somewhere else.
It’s just me and a secretary left.
She’s blond and petite and quick to laugh. She’s stayed here longer than she had too. Turning down unwanted offers of dancing.
Music and chatter recede to low din.
Still is the world.
All but for me.
Sweats of hair stick to her face, as her head rests towards the wall. I can smell the scent of her perfume. My nose is by her neck. Lips shut, I breathe. Her silky skin caresses my hand as it glides up her thigh. A cold breeze snaps and my attention is stolen by the hand on my shoulder. The bar comes rushing in. Reformed.
“That’s enough” he says, “I think you’d better leave.”
“You’re done here.”
Outside the night has turned bitter; I turn my collar up against it and watch from across the road as two barmen carry her to a taxi. My mind screams with all the force it can muster, ‘come on then, hit me just fucking hit me.’ I’ve already decided that I don’t care what they do. How far they take it. I’m begging them, daring them to beat me until I’m a bloodied mess on the ground. I doesn’t matter how loud my mind screams. All I can do is stare. They fail to notice my presence.
The stars shine as I walk home.
I wake up during the night with my penis in hand and a scent in the air, and try to see it through to completion before the dream of whatever spurred it on recedes to my subconscious. The moment is gone. Faded.
Feet squirming on ceramic and eyes squinting under florescent, I stare at my reflection. I repeatedly, forcefully and purposefully slam my head against it. Blood drips along vertical axis. Along white porcelain, boxers, and floor. The mirror is shattered and so to the façade. There is only one question left, one question that could ever be muttered from these lips. Who the fuck are you, and what have you done with my life?
I put my hand down and inside. I reclaim what is mine.