The story so far:
x – the winner
The candle light bleeds into my skin. A wave of relief and nausea washes over me.
I am drunk with being alive.
Five blank chamber clicks.
Only one left.
Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has left the building!
I set the gun down lightly and lean over it, stretching myself across the table toward Kirt.
‘Game over old friend. I win.”
‘IT’S NOT OVER YET!” He spits.
Still holding the bottle he takes a deep swig.
I begin to laugh. Long, loud, indecent laughter.
My sanity wearing off…the insanity of reality returning.
I stand and quickly walk to Kirts side, resting my hand on his slumped shoulder.
“**** it brother. It doesn’t really matter anyway, right?” I say all worldly, like a man who has just cheated death.
I turn and head toward the door, thinking…I may just get myself a woman tonight. To celebrate my victory.
As I close the door behind me I hear Kirt whimper, “It’s not over yet.”
I walk down the dim hallway toward the stair well. Dim, like the minds of all the people I encounter each and every painstaking day.
“Yes, it is over Kirt.”
As I walk down the stairs to the bottom floor I think back to the gun, still sitting there on the table. I should have taken it with me. Just in case…
In case it wasn’t actually over.
But No, Kirt wouldn’t be that ignorant. He’s already lost. No need to prove it.
I exit out into the cold, breezy Detroit night and check my watch.
‘Just in time.” I rhyme.
Because of the graveness of this evening’s game I determined it would be best to not have a vehicle in the area. So I took the bus.
Checking the schedule before I left I noted that there were two late busses, one at 8:00 and one at 10:00.
It was 8:03.
As I stroll the half block toward the bus stop I see a fine sister in a short skirt getting into a car across the street. I pause briefly to admire her. I imagine fondling her as I did the gun.
Just then the bus rounds the corner and pulls up to the curb with that loud screeching noise that braking busses sometimes make.
But wasn’t it a little louder this time? Did it sound a little like…a gun shot?
I turn around and look back to the building I just left, to the second story window where my best friend was most likely still sitting. Wasn’t he?
I strain my eyes hoping for a quick glimpse of his shadow. All I can see is the distant flick of a lone candle flame. Just one.
The other must have blown out.
Silence envelopes me as I ponder the romantic charm of this analogy.
‘Hey man, you getting on or what?”
I turn quietly and climb the stairs unto the bus.
After paying the man I edge down the aisle, past dozens of wasted heads, toward the back. I scan their haggard, bloodless faces.
If they only knew. The lines that they could cross. If they only knew what life was all about.
I sit down, in the very last seat…and smile.
Unrehearsed, just like Janeane.I know.