Short stories

The Outsiders

From the balcony of her window, she could see the sad, thinking man, like her, sitting near his window, looking out into the space and cool of the night, wondering if there were more to this same-same routine he had come to call his “life”. He was not unhappy; he was by all measures what most would call a happy man, who has everything one would hope for in a suburban neighbourhood. A self-made man, he achieved career and success early in his life, with family comfort dropped on his lap a decade ago when it was deemed necessary for a man of his age and status to have a fitting wife and a tidy pack of children. He was well-liked by his colleagues as he gave a measured amount of care and concern about each of their lives, and he was held in high regard by his superiors for being neatly efficient. Alas, it seems to the outside world that the only thing he lacked was a Lassie-type hound to complete the middle class dream of white picket fences and unmessy, uncomplicated contentment.

The woman, who had been watching this man for several nights now, sensed the deep currents of unhappiness in this neat package of an executive. She had seen his eyes furrow when they wandered into a destination somewhere far away from where he now was and although she was too far to see, she imagined that she caught glimpses of tears as whatever he was thinking of was too impossible to attain. Every day at midnight, he would pour himself a glass of Scotch on the rocks, drink a sip of it, lay a coaster neatly for fear of spoiling the wood of his side table, then lay the glass calmly on the coaster, before raising the glass again to drink more of it. Was it just to numb his senses to the daily act he had to perform? Or, was it to intoxicate himself so that he could arrive at that place where he so yearned to be? The woman, who escapes to her window to catch a breath in the starlight, amused herself by thinking that this man knew the secret destination of where they both wanted to be.

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Oh, Happy Pain

Artwork by Miss E,
a good friend

When I awoke at morning,
I felt my skin cracking,
‘n my heart burning,
my head exploding,
my soul bawling,
my legs melting,
my eyes raining,
my lips bleeding,
my face swelling,
my ears splitting,
my cries deafening,
and my hands awanting.

Truckling down to ennui-knees,
mirrors sliced my humanities,
I put up with my indignities,
I grasped at my sanities,
I fought my absurdities,
I resisted my Tofranils,
I licked all my injuries,
I snorted your decries,
I puffed idiosyncrasies,
I tipsy, dallied with deities,
I ran, and sang as remedies,
I lay happy, soaked of Chiantis.