The End

A man fades back into consciousness as his alarm goes off.
“. . . lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying. When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt just like two balloons. Now I’ve got that feeling once again. I can’t explain, you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably-” and is cut off with the slap of his hand.
He rolls on to his back, staring at the white expanse of his ceiling, tracing the cracks that lead to a few patches of broken plaster with his eyes. He lights the joint left waiting on his bedside table and, like every other day, goes about his usual morning routine: shower, shave and a breakfast that consists of two over easy eggs with a side of slightly charred toast and a coffee brewed black to go.
After slipping into the same outfit he’s worn at least twice a week for the past three years he grabs the few things he needs and steps outside into the early morning fog that only makes it’s distinct appearance during that brief period of the year when winter is on the cusp of fall. . . where the leaves have all fallen and the trees stand barren against the constant overcast in the sky. He glances down at his watch that now reads eight sharp. He looks back up as he lights the cigarette that hangs loosely from his chapped lips.
Not a soul to be seen in the early morning gloom, the only sound being his own footsteps echoing against the pavement. The crisp wind stains his cheeks red with every familiar step he takes along the path he’s walked a thousand times before. Eventually the concrete turns to gravel and the gravel turns to sand. He looks around at the lake in front of him, the one thing he’s always known. . . the only true constant throughout his life.
As he unties the old canoe from its post along the dock that he and his brother had acquired from a yard sale over fifteen years ago for fifty bucks, starting what would be a series of shenanigans that highlighted most of his younger years. Nostalgia then takes hold and his mind flashes through all the memories he’s made in, around and on that water. Images of his family, friends, pets and lovers pass behind his closed eyes as he takes another drag from a cigarette. He exhales a shuddered breath caused by the chilled air mixed with an overwhelming combination of emotions as the memories continue to flood back.
Suddenly it’s two years prior and it’s a hot summer night filled with booze and  humidity. Tears burn in his eyes and blend together with sweat as he feverishly scrawls out a note in the bright moonlight that casts along the lake when a soft voice calls out from the shoreline, deafened slightly by the alcohol but still unmistakable. . .
He opens his eyes to a barren shore and the silence that presently surrounds him. Smiling weakly, he reaches into the pocket of his well worn coat and pulls out a crumpled up piece of paper and sets it down on the bench in front of him on the other end of the canoe. He looks back down at his watch reading ten till nine.
In his mind he see’s sand falling through long, slender fingers and the cracks of his ceiling, a mopy head of hair and the pages of an old notebook all gathering together at the bottom of an hourglass until the last grain drops. . .
The sound of the gunshot rings out across the lake.
The note left behind is opened, blood splattering the left side, simply reading, “All my life I’ve waited for that serendipitous moment, ya know? When it all comes together. . . But I realize now that that’s just a myth. It’s not that I’m depressed. I’m not sad. That’s the problem, though. I feel nothing, I’m just numb. Void of feeling. And a life without feeling doesn’t seem like a life worth living. It was different way back when; when the world was still filled with so many possibilities and your wildest dreams seemed plausible, even attainable. I’ll never really feel that way again knowing what I know now. But I still crave that moment where everything that filled my life comes together in one beautiful instant and I fucking feel again in a final hoorah of gratitude for my shitty, wonderful blink of existence. If in two years time nothing has changed I’ll make it happen for myself. At least I’ll go out with a bang.”
There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb.
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