The incessant hush of the street far below of anonymous treads restlessly passing across wet asphalt served to disrupt the constant moan of the refrigerator. The quieter moments between this intermittent exchange further revealing a distinct restlessness of his own settled between his ears. An invisible tumbril that actively contested these warring cacophonies with its own peculiar form of ringing hiss. Above this mingled chorus resided an orchestrated sense of nervous tranquility by the relentlessly measured tick of a brass pendulum emanating from a Swiss wall clock. He was restless and the half moon mired in clouds outside his eleventh story window seemed to know it.
It may have been post midnight but for the fact of the calendar’s proximity to the Winter solstice. The intermittent coolness of the season with occasional Spring-like temperatures confounding one’s inner resolve to enter into the outside world. The terrene of man and woman continued uninterrupted by the void of his presence. The contents of the lounge room surrounding his chair seemed to squeeze in upon him as if taking the opportunity of being unencumbered by any human presence. Too many old memories had taken up permanent residence in these knickknacks. The patent accumulation of all these once familiar objects now alternatively offering both annoyance and comfort. The relative level of animal energy serving as the determining factor in suggesting the dominance of which. Right now his own storehouse was at an all time low ebb!
He padded around this obstacle course to the unlit bathroom and lifted the seat to spit some of the residual phlegm that clogged the back of his throat. Cigarette smoke dryness was afflicting it drifting in under his front door from some unknown source along the hallway beyond. He sought to take his mental protestations only as far as that door. The society outside it had ceased to interest him. He wondered how this yoke if reconfigured as a noose might accommodate his own neck? Too many years of useless struggles that reliably had resulted in the same prognosis. Death. He pondered in a studied silence as he quietly returned to his upholstered lounger, “Was this solitary existence more hassle than it was worth?” The thought of hastening to a quick end an equally futile gesture as once more embracing the struggle to beat the steep odds offered by that brazen goddess of success. The bad Karma of being a perennial loner from the ‘get go’ being his fatal flaw. The ‘sans doute’ reasoning behind his many impossible attractions to a long list of femme fatale’s. The world of business with his peers had offered no better alternatives.
The swell of the drilling between his ears had jealously overwhelmed his thoughts. He had been better off laying equally restless under several layers of blankets in the cold darkness of his bedroom. The absence of light a cover to suppress that parroting tone of his own self disregard. He had earlier made the mistake of disinterring some random photos decades past along with the muddy video of his wedding. The freshness of the reflected presence of everyone now long dead and far removed coaxed a false mindset. His world was now no longer so populous. Yet he could not prevent himself feeling as complacently comfortable as he did then as if nothing had ever changed. The only fly in the ointment was his own lack of success. Somehow, he felt, his dilemma is that through some misstep he had been left behind by all of them. This was in contradiction of the laws of nature that stated that all things both good and bad eventually cease to be. But like the proverbial loyal dog protecting its master’s grave, he had refused to move on.
A voice in the street some distance below rang out. Its gravel tone animosity spitting out its enmity to another unseen party. “Get Out!”, it repeated several times in an exhaustive hoarse screech. He rose to his feet and spread the blinds to catch sight of a car distant in the parking lot of a small strip mall across the street peeling rubber into the night. A small group of shadowy phantoms nervously gathered gesticulating in silhouette in a doorway the light from behind revealing them in their noiseless pantomime. The intervening distance between viewer and these inadvertent players significant in the analogy of possessing only tickets to the last row in an upper opera company balcony. The show went on in the nearness of far away but without him. It was hard to imagine ever having any feelings of unbounded love or passion from any times in the past. Though he knew that he had had them to the extent of having no control over the unfortunate situations that had resulted from their free reign. “Was life just a tireless comedy of errors fated to default to eventual disaster?” he wondered. That persistent hollow tunneling by the restless air of tinnitus whistling remorselessly twixt his ears straining mightily at his senses!
The free flowing tide of new unexpected addition to the rooms audio track suddenly began to sound. The blower of his apartment’s heating unit now vying for attention. The room had been without the sound of a human voice now for hours. His thought process now washed about his living space like seepage invading a cabin in a lower deck of a storm tossed steamer. There could be no hope of rest or resolution till the storm had passed. His stamina would be tested as it had always been. There was no clear amount of hope and prayer that could vouchsafe any assurance that all would turn out well. Those had long dried up in the extended transition from childhood through the long linger of adolescence into adulthood. The cigarette smoke had now fully embalmed his head from their point of entry at the nasal passages. Life had condemned its participants to a slow remorseless process of finding happiness and meaning within a constantly dissolving set of illusions. The sudden ache of his head finally signaled his conscious thought that it was time to give up the struggle for the night and return to bed.