It had been some four years plus since anyone had lived here beyond him. Fifteen hundred rise and falls of the Sun on the horizon slowly forgetting his previous daily existence. A long time to become detached from the kin that had previously been the rightful owners of this living space. A small section of floor space on a larger plan in a middle floor of a mid century high rise on the edge of a larger metropolis. Though forced to make daily forays out into the world for work and food he had slowly lost touch with it. Things had been made worse by his losing his daily employ and having to depend on the state to supply him a stipend to purchase foodstuffs. As he sat upon the last remaining two-seater sofa in the lounge he contemplated the dark horizon as embers seemed to gather in the distance readying themselves to once again meet the first light of the sun. Where he wondered was the illumination to light a path out of his every descending dilemma of skating eternal darkness. No expression upon his face as he sat silently low in the saddle of the old broke back couch. The portraits around the room no longer stared out with a plausible familiarity that claimed a actual human entity as the physical source of their being. He looked over to the pinpoints upon the faux tree-like manifestation of the end of the year holidays and felt no fondness or connection with it. Whatever memories within hum had become sterile like the bits and pieces of the residual recollection of his fragmentary youth. What had steadily been preserved over nearly all of a human life was a constant mistrust of his fellow creatures. The slow procession of which that had marched through his life now remembered for their unique qualities of kindness so much as the same story of eventual indifference to him. All those that he came to know in the intervening decades had eventually trailed away in another direction despite his strenuous efforts to dissuade them otherwise. He was thus pronounced a perpetual loner.
There had been a mighty struggle going on within him throughout the successive intervening years since childhood. One where every attempt to accommodate the meandering course of public conventionality’s subsided into a new enigmatic puzzle that seemed to offer no fit solution as to how to navigate. A damned if you do and damned if you don’t continuum of hopeful overtures that too quickly subsided into false starts. Friendships, brief romantic affairs, and even a star-crossed stint at marriage all failing miserably for reasons unknown to him despite his best efforts to bend and satisfy. The world seemed to finally descend upon him as if it had become a mighty leaden cloud full of an eventually lethal menace that might sooner or later take even this sparse form of existence away. There was too much evidence of others that shared the same dilemma in far off cities that barely existed in far of urban districts far to the West. Every day had been a bit more grim than the collection of same that had dissolved into a nothingness without promise or exception. There might have been something tragic about this had their been at least another solitary soul in his company to appreciate the insoluble dilemma that beset him. Yet he himself felt no despair or self pity on his own account. He was struck by the fact of how persistent and unrelenting was his own condition of life. But had no sympathy for himself and occasionally some degree of maudlin emotion for anonymous others that theoretically shared a similar experience to his circumstance. This appreciation of same coming from teleplays and cinematic narratives that seemed to corral the emotions of the surrounding population in general. It might have officially been called consensus in the daily declaration of events and socially acceptable notions that were sold as appropriate. He sat in his lounge upon the old threadbare saddle alone in his lounge. The gravity of this unrelenting condition of solitude descending upon his consciousness finally collapsing any fantasy to the contrary.
The soccer field seemed twice the size as he could remember it. He recalled that he had played soccer in high school during gym class and had been anything but stellar. Now he seemed enlisted as a coach in a Summer time program at a nearby park district. The ball was served from the center of the field and immediately shot over his head towards the boundary of one of the streets that served as the ultimate boundary of the park. One of the players at that far end booting it back once again overhead until it seemed in a position relatively equivalent but in the opposite direction. Something within him sank like a flag being pulled down in early surrender. He had doubts that this job would last more than the afternoon given the fact that his present level of physicality was obviously no match for the youthful leg strength of those that had been put in his charge to mind. The other coach now running in a lateral direction towards the side of the field he felt his rubbery legs wobble as he made his own pathetic attempt to catch up to the orb. The other younger fellow’s lack of speed a sign of the man’s sarcasm in the fact of the pathetic lack of performance of his older rival. Seeing this for what it meant the older scorned pair of legs picked up speed as if they now had a life separate to the body and head that bobbled about atop them. Their distant rival in the younger coach resuming his normal vitality and stepping up his pace as a result of this display and easily reaching the ball first to boot it far away back towards center field out of reach of his older rival’s renewed efforts. The impossbility of the situation fell upon the deposed sexagenarian like a wet woolen blanket.
The failure felt in one scenario seemed to bring on contemplation of yet another. One calling into focus a dismal area bordering a place outside of town by a main railroad trunk line. A no man’s land evidencing decades of toxic and careless dumping of castoffs that had the relative appearance of destruction one would have quickly associated with the worst sites of world war carnage. It was here that the man found himself newly arrived standing on the gravel by the rails. The only cited goal still clearly posed in his being was to traverse this area before he would be spotted by hostile parties. This inhospitable region having its own indigenous residents that as one might expect were as unwanted and disgruntled as himself. His presence in this lawless section presenting a convenient scapegoat for them to enact his revenge. His traverse of the many gullies fraught with sucking empty bucket covered tar pits that he barely found passage to skirt around disconcerting as the pressure of unseen eyes bore down upon him. Rapid tiptoes across rotting planks to shifting sandy ridges that softly gave way under his feet threatening to cant him forward in a manner that my lead to a tumble into the muck of a pit of uncertain composition. Whole sections of savaged walls of residential building including banks of wooden sash segmented of window glass stood as partitions blocking rapid progress. The notion of him being followed by hordes not far behind him growing ever evident. The possible luxury of taking an instant to stop in mid course to turn about and view the situation in that direction too wasteful of the slight chance that he might still outdistance them. On and forward he stumbled and slipped irregardless of his mounting conviction that all this effort would still result in his being easily being overtaken. Gone were the self inscribed fantasies of the inadvertent hero that he felt himself innately capable of being. His own vulnerability so painfully apparent in a likening to that of a field mouse being pursued by an owl. The growing flutter of his own heart within his chest now impossible to discern from feathers softly beating rapidly and hard just above yet not quite further back.
The chimes of the wall clock rang with their usual annoying precision. Another artifact that he had refused to disturb from the storehouse of family possessions that stood in for otherwise long lost traditions. His neck cracked a bit as the tight muscles surrounding his spine propelled his mighty cranium slowly forward and upright. The room was still dark but by the reckoning of the dim glow from outside several hours might have past. His sojourn to that other unstable ever changing world of dreams had as usual been unexpected and rocky. He rotated his head about a bit in both directions and stretched both arms upwards into a diagonal V to stretch out the kinks in his back still otherwise at rest slouched upon the sofa’s brace of pillows. Though the darkness of the room was only occasionally interrupted by tiny pinpoints of random LED’s as well as vertical glimpses of the The notion of the solitude ensconced within the limbo of a formless remote universe being challenged by sensations of cold drafty air and the rush of its warmer rival issuing from vents at ceiling height dispensing with same. Leaning forward out of his static repose he shifted his view to the murky horizon peeking up over the bottom sash of the window. Existence such as it was still remained. Only the accompanying dismal circumstance of the fear that it associated with was gone. He was in a state of neutral unencumbered being his usual troubles and concerns put to rest. His body as a singular instrument very aware of the exact position within the knowable universe of man. The question of hierarchy now a secondary matter. He was still very much alive and that was all that mattered.