He stomps his cigarette out in the overflowing ashtray, causing a brief
flurry of ash and a tumult of burned out filters to spill onto the
desk. He immediately lights another.
This is how you define yourself
after spending too much time in other worlds, too much time in timeless
places, places that cannot change. You define yourself by what you do
not do, what you will not say, the places you won't go.
the dark, smoking cigarettes, trying to forget who you are, who you
were once. Who knows now? he wonders. When did I turn into this thing,
rusting out and trying to speed along the inevitable in a room filled
with decaying memories of blood spilling like waterfalls and skin
that's more bruise than flesh.
He blinks and his red-rimmed eyes
fill with other places. Rain is all around him outside the car. It's daytime, but the clouds obscure most of the sunlight. In the
semi-twilight he can make out the pier, half-collapsed into the bay
that's spread out before him. In the unlight of the moment, everything
is filled with life, tall wild grasses bleed with green, while the
shorter ones borrow the sun the sky has lost, almost glowing in yellows
His eyes are open again and he's back in the room,
windows blacked out, lightbulbs smashed, just an orange glowing ember
on his cigarette for light.
He breathes deep, the glow brightening
while deep red lines that stretch from his eyes down his cheeks to his
chin glisten and dance in the light.