The darkened room contained two souls. Two glasses containing ice clinked somewhere low by a coffee table. One voice cut through the silence while the other became even more conspicuous by its silence. His taciturn facial features suggested in a dim highlight from the grayness of a cloud encumbered sky trailing in from the chamber’s solitary exterior opening.
“Today, I got depressed as I realized full well that things were going down hill from here. I don’t like to admit that I am depressed. Or even think that I can get depressed. People that are thought to be depressed are treated worse than criminals in this country. I’m not a criminal. I”ve played things straight all my life. And yet in this day and age what does that count for?”
The speaker taking a pause to take a sip and let his words sink in.
“I’m in spitting distance of my seventh decade.”, he continued in a voice devoid of emotion. “Eyes going south to the point it is just a matter of time until I won’t be able to drive my car. Unfortunately that spells the end for me! A rope down a hole from which their is no escape.”
His audience seemed to shift slightly as the speaker reached down to the other glass just opposite. A wet glare off his eye offering a tell.
“That hole in my groin is big enough to stick my own fist through it. Yet every day there is a chance of my going into excruciating pain from a bowel blockage. Something that is freely advertised as repairable. Sure! But then don’t promises always exceed the reality of the actual result, do they?”, the lips of the man slowly curled in disgust as he viewed the indifference of his audience.
The solitary voice pausing long in the darkness.
“The moment you let your guard down and give those assholes a license to operate on you is when their excuses begin. Sooner than later you find yourself stuck in worse shape than if you had just left well enough alone. All one has to do and take a good look. Look in that mirror and refresh the painful notion that the grim looking ancient face that is staring back at you is in fact really your own.”, the speaker’s voice trailing off as he turned quickly away from the window’s light. As if his attention was broken in mid thought by away by some unseen distraction.
Slowly he turned back to the silhouette of the other’s face locked in deeply in shadow. The continence of the other implacable figure still sitting with head and shoulders inert and upright staring forward, “Of course, the one thing that advancing age has left you with despite all the struggles you were faced with along the way is the knowledge that things never really change. You are still gonna be you at the end of the day. Then you know that your chances that might have been tenuous are less than none. A simple mosquito bite from out of nowhere might get you? And then you’ll get laid out in your coffin in just a matter of a day or two. Not a case of an ‘if’ at this point but rather a ‘When’, and maybe if you become really morose, ‘How’?”
The ice tinkled against the inside of the speaker’s glass again as he raised it. But this time a tad bit little wetter.
The speakers hand rose up and raked his own chin in thought. The sketchy light’s parsimonious nimbus hard upon his moving eyeballs as they were shifted upward more directly into its luminous reach for a moment . He began once again, “And then there’s that sense of impatience. Something impending? You don’t know what? Something that drives you along unconsciously to believe that you have missed out on something important along the way. But you can’t figure out just what that ‘something’ might be? Yet its urgency does not subside but finds little hollows in your head to hide within to waits until the next moment to nag you a bit little later once again. Maybe some misplaced opportunity that got left at the station so long ago that you dare not mention it aloud?”, the speaker leaning forward, “Then you might realize that it’s all been a hopeless situation all along for a lot longer than you ever dared think. You missed the bus long ago and are now just reliving an old memory from long ago in a more hopeful light. You’re just going through the motions now, that’s all.”
His voice rose up the words trembling, “The worst of knowing that now from this point onward you are old and will simply get older until you disappear completely. And along with your passing, everything else!.” His hand instinctively reaching forward to unconsciously form a fist to pound the air before his solitary companion. The stunned silence immediately following these impassioned words slowly dissolving them away into the room’s surrounding absolute oblivion of impenetrable shadow.
The speaker’s voice now fully emptied of the previous emotion continued on, “Years later I became unexpectedly reacquainted with an elusive lost ideal of my young adulthood. My long displaced old emotions evoking others not experienced since times long past. It was as if each section of my head was a instrument was reactivated by the signature of the keys of a piano of another. The melodies recalling feeling long abandoned. Reawakened in a vivid recollection of that same formative time unexpectedly in the dead of night. Wondering where that fire of youthful expectation of great things just ahead had permanently departed. All my emotions momentarily awash in a reunion with that subtle tenderness of one’s innocent expression of love. A sense of commitment one has for another intermingled with their love and commitment for me. And aware too of the pending tragedy of my own current dissipated existence where such things have long descended into the theoretical. As one might expect to encounter in a personal story turned indefinite myth about one’s the past.”, the speaker stopped again. His audience leaning ever so slightly more towards him yet otherwise unmoving.
The speaker’s eyes glowered across at his unmoved audience as he paused to take possession of some new thoughts, “Part of me has grown hard like some thick marbled armor of a turtle’s shell. The barrier refuting that such things no longer exist or could be made possible again. Certainly not in the present tense of this universe as I know it now! That’s the signature of a real loser I guess? But despite all that, someone who has not the slightest glimmer of some hope loses the possibility of ever finding their way back onto that former path that they had so long ago abandoned. Everything seems possible while sitting alone in this dark empty room devoid of everything but the dead of night.”
Without warning the same form that had been so solidly planted across from the speaker during his rambling soliloquy suddenly sank forward then rolled heavily down on its side amidst the shadows covering the carpet. A knife stuck out of its back. One that had been obscured all the while when it had been immobile in death and propped up into a sitting position.
The speaker’s eyes gleamed again as he leaned forward to view the body. “Jostled about upon the storm tossed endless ocean of rational thought as posed so often by the words of others.” he chuckled coldly in a faux Shakespearean tone of voice, ” And feeling inadequate to offer whatever wisdom of one’s own that may lay untapped within.”
The assassin rose up with gravitas and stretched out his hand as if dramatically offering it to a larger unseen invisible audience, “Too unwilling to unsheath one’s own dagger and cut any other argument to the quick with those unhesitating silent slightly posed insights. My own existence lost within this grateful prison of a perpetual muse in contemplation of that dark phenomena of an empty surrounding universe. The question ever-present on the mind being what is the limit of one’s own ability to conjer up this reality?”
The deadly speaker then stepping from the semi-light of the crime scene into total darkness. His voice fading with distance to the accompaniment of new leather soles on concrete, “Can this question ever be answered? And to what end?”