A Minor Instance

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This piece is based on the premise of clinical depression taken to absurd lengths. It is known that depression involves lacking enjoyment of regular things and in this piece the protagonist succumbs to this entirely.

It all started with the sex. One day my wife and I were naked, doing what naked people do. It was a minor instance in which I had participated countless times. Very pleasant. I remembered my first lover, the nerves the trepidation. I remembered my subsequent lovers, the happy memories, the feel of skin against skin. Then I became bored. I wondered at why now when I was still so young should I become bored with sex. I had no objections to it. My wife and I had perfected our coupling to be a fully exciting endeavour. But suddenly I was tired of it, dog tired. I withdrew with the excuse of a headache.

I remained in this mood for many days, still uncertain as to why the touch of her induced me to yawn, had all the excitement gone now that we were so familiar with each other? Yet I could still get excited. I still wanted her, but knowing I’d felt the same feeling countless times before somehow made me apathetic towards it. I didn’t think much of it, married couples go through dry spells I know that much is true. The next thing was the kissing. I had been enjoying kissing her hello and goodbye in the absence of physical intimacy, but then suddenly with my lips on hers I felt tired. Felt that it had all happened before and if I didn’t put a stop to it, it would all happen again. Equally pleasant but nothing more. It was a minor instance in which I had participated countless times.

It bothered me, this overwhelming disinterest. Stronger than that, I felt as though if I were to continue with these rituals my life would become that of a chained dog.

I idly wondered if I would grow tired of anything else. I suspected it was a phase, a lone wolf sort of phase. I began to avoid my friends, safe in the knowledge that the feeling would pass and that I would regain my lust for life in no time.

Little did I know then.

The next thing to go was my desire to work. It was a minor instance in which I had participated countless times. Yet it suddenly felt that I could be free of my routine, of my daily struggle in a job I had had for ten years for which I had studied for five. This job was one of my proudest achievements. It was a good job, an interesting job. Yet suddenly I was tired of it. This felt more reasonable than the other cessations. Plenty of people grew tired of their jobs. So I continued getting up at the same time in the morning, had breakfast with my wife, then I would wander around the streets all day. Stopping for coffee, visiting bookshops and libraries. It was truly liberating. I would sit in rush hour in the morning, lunch when all the workers did and come home in the evening. I still felt connected to the world by this universal routine.

However, I soon grew tired of eating. The feel of the food being pulverized between my teeth, using my throat to remove it to my stomach, all of this felt too familiar. It was a minor instance in which I had participated countless times. Every day of my life in fact. So I began to get up earlier and say there was a rush on in work so I had to be in early, I would skip breakfast, come home late and say I had eaten with some colleagues. This was one phase I simply knew couldn’t last forever. After all it would only be a matter of days maybe weeks before I grew malnourished. I became thin and pale, my wife fretted over me. But the thought of food was too much to bear. I had eaten it all before and felt absolutely no desire to do so again. So here I am. The final hurdle.

I began to feel that my dreams were more real than my waking life. I became tired of breathing. The noises it made, the way my chest rose and fell, it was so tiresome. I wondered for hours at how to fix that situation. I enjoyed my dreams where I didn’t seem to breath at all. But now I am sitting in the bathtub in the middle of the day and I know that the only way to dull this ache is to stop breathing. I am dimly aware that this situation would be fixed, that I could perhaps force myself to do the things I used to do, That I could go to the hospital, but It was a minor instance in which I had participated countless times.

It seemed like an ineffective solution. Besides, they would simply assume I was depressed and that wasn’t it all. I had seen a dark truth that I could not unsee. I want to live in a dream, to be able to do things impossible on Earth. I want to cease the automatic functions such as eating and breathing, I want to exist by clenching and unclenching my hand, for example. Something alien, perhaps exist in a different form. Anything is possible. I know what I am about to do. My only fear is that when I stop breathing I won’t dream, that I will simply cease to be. Yet there is the moment of death to look forward to. My brain will be alive for a little while during which I will be dead. The dream seconds will seem like weeks, years maybe. Enough time to do what I want to do. Enough time to exist beyond myself. So here goes. I am going to fill my lungs with this bathwater, goodbye breath.

 


Submitted: March 24, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Eilis NiEidhin. All rights reserved.

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