The ending is always underwhelming. Something that just comes up incidentally in the most unexpected of expected ways. You would think that a crescendo would blare forth or something and would announce it. But it is more times than not just an, “oh well“, then a roll over and suddenly stop moving affair. Stop moving for good. The body in question having been mostly dead for many a year. Dead perhaps without its owner even knowing the difference. Oatmeal and cellulite, patches of psoriasis bound parchment skin like a human quilt. Maybe a ‘looker’ at one point in faraway time? The bag of bones now supervening anything before. One without a hint of movement signaling the conclusion of another spent individual. Tits! If there had been any now like elastic half-filled water balloons. More sag than action to the eye. “Another cigarette please!” Something to relieve that slight hint of stench in the room so there might not be anymore distractions. “No more thoughts please!” Speculations to be avoided. Like that half-acted prospect of post-menupausal sex just one more time. An empty Coke bottle. “Spin the bottle!” Just for the Hell of it. Septic. Tight dry and fatally awkward. Not much left to look forward to. No sign of long held hopes left in those empty dead eyes. “Hell of a way to go!” Doesn’t matter now. Just another case for the shroud tailor to test his weights and measures.
The mental snapshot having been committed to digital memory the sight of the thing sprawled up lazily lost in a sitting position was filed away. Something to be accessed off the case files or maybe in some sector of a disk in a manila folder. The remains off to some stainless steel tray at county. No longer in mental custody. Something on a long list of things to do. More paperwork to keep one satisfied and working until retirement. That time when one could scratch one’s self again under their left armpit and be confident of not running across cold blued steel. The harness that went along for the ride never quite far enough away from the notion of what one’s true status was here. Another dray horse hitched up to a wagon full of corpses. The smell of cordite summoning only a dim memory of a two year stint as an eager young lad along with the U.S. Marine’s finest. Somehow that same comparison no longer fits. Just a witness to life’s mishaps. And of course, someone committed to keep the paperwork straight. The randomness of the types of clients that he encountered both on their feet and permanently off had been whittled down to a paucity of grim assumptions. Money, rage, envy! And of course the insanity of that lurking animal insect brain within that was goaded by the combination of all three. “$15,000 overnight!” the message declared in the spam folder of his tablet. At least the email software was working. He had a trash folder worth of their larger partners in crime. The big fish swam where they wanted in this world and it was his job to handle the minnows.
The ‘old piece of meat‘ from this afternoon stared grimly at the shadow falling at her toes from another simultaneous competing I-phone’s flash. It painted a less than pretty memorial to what appeared pretty obviously as another surrender to the weight of society upon old tired shoulders. Maybe she had plumbed the depths of her own spam folder drawn like a hungry animal towards the scent of an easy meal. “$15,000 overnight!” or some such claptrap. Maybe she had been foolish enough to follow through on the con? You might have thought that she would have left a last angry tearful note to declare her disgust with humanity about being screwed out of the last of her savings. If she had any? The ‘man department’ had closed up shop and split long ago. Just another unhappy swimmer finally pulled out into limbo by the tide of life’s consecutive failures. The major cause of death in those realizing their age being simply succumbing to the final realization of simply being old. He had seen it so often now that one could almost envy those with a knife stuck in them at an early age. They didn’t have to eat their own spleen over the subsequent wait for the final knock of father time. It didn’t matter he supposed. A brief mention of their existence would be handwritten in-between the press of six or seven tightly spaced lines in ballpoint ink. A normalized version typed into a computer terminal and set adrift in a sea of similar data. Perhaps data mined to join in the company of a similar group of statistics that could be offered to afford respectability to an otherwise shaky assumption. Something to garner more tax money from the state capital or maybe the Feds?
The picture of his ex’s face when they had broken up two plus decades back poured freely into the gap between his thoughts. That expression of profound anguish and shock deferred so instantaneously to grief at the few simple words that he felt free enough to offer her. Their wedding rings. The ones that they spend so much time picking out. His now in the ‘drink‘ off the point several fanthoms down in the deep. Stuck in the muck just like their respective illusions about a future together had become. And ending! The male thing! Decisiveness! But no cement on God’s green earth to fill that empty hole that would be left within. An ending. Sweet and simple. Just an ending.