Morris woke up feeling a tad chipper than usual, as today was a very special day for him. It would be the day in which Morris would die.
He had thought it through over and over. He would take his own life today, whether it would be in the morning or the evening, the time had not been specified.
He got out of bed and did his mundane routine for the last time. There was something strange about brushing your teeth for the last time; a speck of great care went into it this time.
This wasn’t a decision that Morris came to easily, certainly not. Forty Four years living on the planet shaped this judgment. Forty Four years of emptiness.
Morris couldn’t particularly complain about his life much. Growing up in Paisley, he had a decent enough up bringing. His father a welder in the ship yard and his mother a part time receptionist always put food on his table and heat around himself. His educational life had also been relatively decent. He was a bright boy and accomplished the academic side of his high school, just not the social side much.
It had always been difficult for Morris to make friends, he could never connect with people as well as he could with his chemistry or mathematic books.
His inability to connect, improved ever so slightly when he attended university perusing a degree in engineering. University may have been the only time Morris was actually happy. He was surrounded by knowledge and knowledgeable people. He attended chemistry clubs where they would design and set off hand made rockets, the one whose rocket reached the greatest height won a lovely gold plated jacket pin of the Apollo rocket.
Morris put on his treasured rocket pin on the outside his jacket before he left the house that day.
Once he walked down the garden path and onto the pavement he filled his nostrils with the morning air, flaring up with oxygen a deep murky exhale of CO2, he headed straight for the train station.
Although the exact location and time of his eternal exit was still yet undecided, two things where set in stone for today. To see Glasgow for the last time, and of course his method.
He stood on Paisley Gilmour street station awaiting his train. Witnessing a junkie pushing a baby stroller with an innocent looking infant sleeping soundly despite the mothers shaky hands at the handle, she walked out of his line of sight. He suddenly felt slightly guilty for assuming she was a junkie based solely how she looked, she could have just been ill, or maybe she was in recovery, desperate to get her life back together, these thoughts made Morris consider, yet again, that social flaw that shadowed him everywhere. He always made up his mind on someone right away and refused to change that opinion.
On his first day at work, his father’s old ship yard, he met his boss who sported a tie that was covered in smiling cartoon frogs holding an umbrella. He hated it. He resented someone being above his that wore such ridiculous apparel. As his new boss gave him the tour of the yard all Morris could think was tying his tie tight on his fat neck, leaving him on the floor gasping for breath, his face turning beautiful shades of purple and the frogs would have no choice but to keep smiling.
His train arrived.
Leaving Paisley behind him, he didn’t look back. There was nothing there for him anymore.
He had no remaining friends in the town, not that he ever really had any. All this university colleagues left to work abroad, left for a better life, left Morris. His Mother died when he was just twenty three, she never saw him graduate but he knew she would have been happy and he imagined her excited cherry face as he took his diploma. His father followed eight years later. He always enjoyed his time working side by side with his father and even though his father told him frequently how proud he was of him, it didn’t stop Morris feeling awkward being a fully qualified engineer when his father was just a basic welder, but it didn’t stop him from enjoying it.
As Morris passed though the stations looking at all the houses and streets whizzing passed him, thinking of all the people living there and how many lives where there. All those stories they had and how they all unwittingly inter connected with each other to form the society they live in.
He arrived at Glasgow Central Station and sought out for a pondering wander.
He was always thinking and it always annoyed him. He would think of nonsense, like the ‘junkie’ back in paisley, thinking that she may be a junkie then considering she might not be and might be this or that. It was something he frequently did and it would be something he would be finally glad to get rid of.
Morris didn’t believe in an after life so as far as he knew he would be leaving his world to enter a realm of sheer nothing. Much like how his life is now, only he would be incapable of thinking, the thought pleased him and he drew a rare smile.
He bought a burger once he was outside and paid for it with a fifty. The cashiers mouth smacked the floor with such shock when Morris said that she was to keep the change, what did money matter now.
He always felt at home in Glasgow, he enjoyed the people, the overheard banter, and the street noise. It gave him a little hope that one day he would be able to join in such a society.
Other than a spell at university, Morris spent his forty four years trying to fit in, trying to join in conversation only to be ignored by his peers. He had never married or had any substantial relationships. His only real love was is hobby of miniature rocket building. The chemistry of it fascinated him; this would be the only thing he would miss. The mixing of the potentially explosive material in the small pipes give him such thrills and it always ended up the same way, flying off to nowhere and exploding into nothing, the promise that it would go on forever, the optimism of such a insignificant object, Morris’s pride and joy, ending in a fireball, illuminating the sky in wonderful colours.
He decided to walk to Glasgow Tower.
It was such a feat of engineering to Morris. Some of his ideas and opinions went into the design structure. Standing at well over 100 meters he considered it his own, the perfect place to visit on his last day. He decided to walk.
Every homeless person he passed received a crisp ten pound note, courtesy of Morris kind nature.
Once at the tower he stood with his nose mere centimeters from the building, almost smelling it and looking up to see the massive structure loom over him, crushing him.
He took the elevator to the very top, watching his beloved city dwarf below him. Once at the top he stared at the ground, the comfy concrete below. It would be a glorious way to end such a miserable life, one of isolation, despair and unfulfillment. Morris spent the past ten years looking for decent work once the ship yard closed its doors for good. Living in a society where it seemed that an engineering degree was as much use at the stain of pigeon shit on the outside glass of the elevator. Living alone, living a bland routine every day, yes this would have been suitable, to burst through his glass elevator and land in a bed of sheer inexistence, the venture into a vast void of nothing. However it was not his plan. He took the lift back down having enjoyed his view of his much loved city it filled him with that rare sparkle of joy he desperately wanted before leaving no one.
At two O’clock in the afternoon he decided to take the bus, but not just any bus, he wanted the novelty tour bus, what easier way to see his home from home.
He picked the first one he could get. It was filled with tourists with a yellow faced woman at the front with a microphone. She sported a ludicrous amount of awful make up and a horrible pink suit, Morris hated her immediately.
The Bus set off. Driving through the city past such sights as the Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Riverside Museum just the sheer sight of the architecture filled reduced Morris to such tears. He wished he could visit them all once last time. To soak in more of the culture but no, the tour was coming to an end and the tears filled Morris eyes and he knew it had to be now.
He stood up into the aisle of the busy bus and started to cry. People turned around to stare but not to offer help, the pink tour guide stopped reading from her script to look oddly at Morris, that odd look that followed him everywhere he went, when ever he opened his mouth to speak, make any attempt at human interaction, it made him feel sick, these ordinary people, looking down on him, he hated it and hated them!
Then everyone on the bus started to scream.
They had caught sight of Morris scientific handy work that was hidden under his thick wooly coat. Pipes, wires and switches all different colours covered his torso with his hand on a parachute like pulley system. He ceased his tears and closed his eyes took on final breath and pulled.
Morris Franklin Anderson would only have been in awe if he could have fully seen what happened next.
© Copyright 2016 Jonathan McQuillan. All rights reserved.