Saturday, January 2, 2016

Coping (Fiction)

They are a controlled substance, but he has ways to get them. The instructions state clearly that they should not be crushed or compromised in any way because doing so will dangerously delete the timed release.

He cuts them in half before pulverizing them for release in a mind-numbing, skin-tingling, all-at-once, limb-warming rush.

The surge is what he lives for. Only then does he find the courage to chase after words that elude him otherwise.

He doesn't do well with life. It's a chore, a duty, an unenthused obligation that he had stamped on his forehead when he came wailing into this weary world.

He often wonders why he is not like other people, people who seem to delight in simple pleasures, who can get their asses to work without being propped up by neurological stimulants. They can putter away in front of their incessant LCD screens, crunch numbers, fill out spreadsheets, find meaning in columns of numbers, statistical subtleties. They are chipper in meetings, shovel down sugar donuts like they are ambrosia, and put in their hours before heading home to marvel at the ongoing disaster that is the news.

He just doesn't get it.

His life hurts. All the frickin time. He drags around his leaden flesh with all the hope of Sisyphus.

The pills, though, they help, even if the price he has to pay is dropping off a cliff when the rush recedes.

Ah, but those few moments being pain free, wanting to rally the words on a page in a way that might somehow liberate him, at least for a fleeting moment. They point to an appreciation of what his life promises. It has given him health, some people, and a livelihood of sorts. He knows that there is joy there somewhere, if he can only lasso it with the right words, the right frame, the right code that might break the walls between him and it.

The only thing worse than the frustration of words that don't come is the despair of not trying or being given the chance to muse. If he doesn't at least make a feeble attempt, time gouges chips of flesh from his soul. It is a cruel conscience that won't leave him alone until he gets his ass out of bed and finds his way to the cabinet that holds the key, his little helper, the dragon that breathes fire onto his sleeping and bruised heart.

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