A Portrait of Loneliness

Posted on October 16, 2013


He sat there, a portrait of loneliness; back against the wall, arms resting lazily on either side of him, legs casually outstretched. A gun lay just out of reach of his finger tips. His head was slumped, chin touching chest, eyes closed. Blood was splattered on the wall behind him, like the spewing lava of an angry volcano frozen in time. The worst part of it all was that he, whatever he was, was still there.

He was still aware of the jeans he had on, the t-shirt he wore, the feel of the carpet on his hands and ankles; the sound of the fan barely a foot away; that it was still lit in his room, even though his eyes were closed.

What the hell? Shouldn’t I…

He heard a voice. It was mother’s. She knocked on the door once, and then entered, like she always did. Her scream made him want to cringe, if only he could move. He sensed her kneeling down next to him, and then cradling him in her arms. As much as he wanted to hug her, and say that everything was fine, he was there…he couldn’t. The sobbing made his heart ache.

What is this…

He wasn’t sure how much time went by before his mother had the courage to let go and call an ambulance. It seemed, and felt, like an eternity. He felt sick to his stomach, however that was possible. Am I just paralyzed?

The sound of the front door opening disturbed his thoughts. There were two male voices; they got louder as they came closer, but eventually lapsed into silence. He felt strong hands grasp his ankles and underneath his arms. The next feeling made him want to scream. He was encompassed in plastic. No, don’t! He wanted to say. I’m alive! I’m here! But it was too late. His fate was sealed with a zzziiiiip!

“I’m sorry for your loss,” he heard a voice above him say. His mother could only sob and gasp in response. He wished he could cry as he felt the wheels of the gurney rolling on the journey towards eternity.

After the ambulance doors closed, he heard the paramedic mutter somberly, “Poor kid…” How stupid his reasons seemed now…now that he was dead. The longing for companionship was so dreadfully important. Every living moment spent alone was like a knife to the gut, twisting and turning. The few friends weren’t good enough; there needed to be more. There needed to be more friends than just one or two and, more importantly, he needed somebody to love.

Not a day went by where he didn’t find himself wondering how it happened. How a woman, independent, self-determined, with her own desires, needs, tastes, goals, comes across any given man that wins her compassion, her love; and how he never seemed to be that man. How he seemed to be lacking in just about anything; charisma, likability, confidence, looks. He was never sure which he was lacking in any woman’s context, just that he was lacking somehow, and that always killed him deep down inside.

The pain was from an open wound, festering, red, swollen, oozing puss. A wound that didn’t really seem capable of healing. It was a wound that hindered his ability to just be. This is what made him think that it would be better to be dead, than alive. But now, as he’s riding in the back of this silent ambulance, wrapped in plastic like the piece of meat he is, he regrets that decision. As he listens to the ruffling of the paramedic, alive, healthy, likely happy with his life, and himself, he wished he could trade places. Though while envying the medic, he suddenly realized that he had always been dead.

Posted in: Stories