Leering at His Bedside.
The weight of it in his hands felt strangely foreign, even though he’d handled it many times before. It might have been the events that had transpired a few hours earlier, maybe it was the circumstances that had brought him to this, his last resort. Realizing the power of death over life it could lead to, he set it down on the bedside table. The lamp was on, dim as the light emanating from it was, he could scarcely see the posters on the wall around him. There was a time when he’d put up these mementos with a fevered pace, as if he didn’t stick them up to the wall soon enough the memory of them might be lost forever. Tickets to concerts, movies, photographs; nothing out of the ordinary for a man his age. But then, what was ordinary? Who really decided that? Was there some kind of committee for these types of things? He dismissed the rhetorical questions. He knew he was just using them to prolong making the decision he needed to come to.
He picked it up off the table once more. How strange, he thought. There was a time when even the sight of it made him uncomfortable; he tucked it away in one of his drawers, right next to his linens and the embarrassing tee shirts he no longer decided to wear. When he had friends and company over, he was always accommodating when they wanted to poke around his things. Rather, he invited them to. These were his things, and in a way constructed who he was. These bits in pieces plastered on the walls and tucked away out of sight were all a little part of him. However, when it came to that drawer, he would always stifle a panic. If they find it, what will they think of me? Am I a psycho? Who NEEDS something like that, but someone unhinged… someone… out of the ordinary.
But, that never came to pass, and holding it now in his hands he began to sweat. It wasn’t a cold sweat. He wasn’t anxious. It was the kind of dampness he’d develop whenever he was approached with a situation he didn’t quite know how to handle. His demeanor was collected, but he was wrestling on the inside. Last he felt like this was when he decided to make love to her. And, that it was handled in his mind like that still makes him cringe. A decision; it sounded like a business transaction. Certainly, he didn’t want to make a whore of her, and she was anything but. When they held each other, though, he couldn’t help but feel like it had been scripted; the motions were familiar, the dialogue was stilted… and yet, with her, it had been different. There was no doubting that.
Once again, he laid it to rest on the table beside him. He turned off the lamp, so that the only thing illuminating the room was the crack of the streetlight outside peering in through his window blinds. It was enough to distort his vision, but still, there it was on the bedside, leering at him.
He hated to resort to it. It wasn’t that he felt weak, but rather, he felt stronger than it could be. And in many ways, he was. He wasn’t the same person when he first got it, and it was when he got it in that moment of helplessness, he knew he’d done the right thing.
Why not, he thought, grabbing the bottle of pills off the table. The doctor prescribed them for a reason. He took the recommended dosage, and fell back to sleep.