14 Jan

I wake up, roll over and turn on my coffee maker. My coffee maker rests on my night stand; I don’t sleep in the kitchen.

I lay in my bed for awhile staring at the ceiling, listening to the coffee maker bubble and growl. My stomach hurts, and I can’t tell if it’s from nerves or if I’m feeling a little hung over from drinking the night before. My brain starts to make  a sort of cause and effect relationship between my anxiety and the hangover, that maybe the anxiety is what caused me to drink in the first place, but something about the thought makes my stomach hurt worse, so I stop.

When the coffee maker wheezes in completion, I roll onto my left side, kick off my blankets, and swing my feet to the floor. It makes me happy to do this for some reason. It makes me feel like I’m athletic.

Although I am not.

I put on some gym shorts and a white t-shirt and go to the bathroom. I urinate, shake the remaining drops from my penis and walk to the mirror while pulling my shorts up. In the mirror, I look fine. Maybe even good. My hair has taken well to my pillow and is shaped in an attractive way that reminds me of a number of famous, young, white actors with bags under their eyes and big, glistening smiles that show off their imperfect teeth. I smile at myself. I don’t like the way I look when I do this, so I straighten my mouth and look some more. My posture is bad and is making me look fatter than I am, so I straighten that out, too. I examine myself and see that everything is good enough.

I turn on the faucet and splash water on my face. Before drying, I look up directly into one of the four light bulbs above the mirror. I feel the tiny muscles in my eyes flex as they adjust to the light. It’s a strange, delicious feeling, like biting the inside of your cheek or sneezing. I dry my face and return to the mirror. I look much older all of a sudden and I don’t remember the transition. I realize that things are much further along than I want them to be. I realize that I have so much longer to go.

I go into my room and drink some coffee, my stomach growling for food. The nausea has been replaced by hunger and I want to take my time and relish in it.

I open up the internet and read a news story about a girl who has died. She had been on a roller coaster ride that malfunctioned, the electro-magnetic brakes not getting enough charge or something like that. I imagine myself in the car with the girl, looking over at her the whole time, the wind making tearing sounds in my ears. I am yelling at her in this image–I’m yelling goodbye and that I hope there’s something after this, don’t you? and I try to reach out for her hand, but the security harness is keeping me pinned. I imagine myself turning my head, looking at the horrified faces of everyone in line as the car blows past them as if there were no stop at all.

One Response to “Shockwave”

  1. Wesley January 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I always enjoy your serious stories. This is a good one.

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