Twists of life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a young man who deals with life's absurd twists and turns.

Submitted: December 08, 2011

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Submitted: December 08, 2011




Twists of life

My name is John, had I known before, what I know now, I probably would have done things differently. However in life, things don’t pan out this way, we are sent into a storm, with the ultimate deluded idea that we will see light when the smoke clears, only problem is, the smoke never entirely dissipates. It’s there, hovering around us everywhere we go, waiting to descend. Like a tiger pouncing on its prey, life is given and then violently taken back.

Let me tell you what happened to me so you can better understand the somewhat dark pessimistic comments I introduced my story with. Like I told you earlier my name is John, I have a family who merits little recognition, a girlfriend whom I’ve suspected for months of cheating, a dead end job that inspires a feeling of regurgitation, very little money and on top of that, a recurring state of depression brought on by the depart of autumn and arrival of the frigid grey days that seem to last longer every year that passes. I have one good friend, his name is Bernard, we’ve known each other since childhood.

I left my house when I was 17; my father was a good man with a weak soul, a talented architect, but a man with self destructive tendencies. He drank and smoked the life out of himself as a result of a woman who never loved him. I often think of him as a hopeless romantic, who gave up everything for an emotion that only he felt, a feeling so unique and powerful, that it took over like a vicious cancer. My mother always saw me as an impediment in her life, in my early teens I always wondered if she really thought I was glad to be born. She was always in and out of my life; she would live at home for a while then find a new boyfriend and take off, then come back and so forth. My father always took her back. Love can be a very dangerous thing. She lived a bohemian like lifestyle, only thing was she was neither an artist nor a writer, she was a gold digger with a thing for promiscuity. It had been seven years since her and I uttered a single word to one another. The last time I saw her was at my dad’s funeral, where she showed up provocatively but sloppily dressed, makeup insinuating, that she had just woken up from a night of filth and driven over to the service. When she saw me at the funeral she walked over clumsily trying to get herself in order, walked right past me without flinching and looked at my father’s lifeless body, after a few moments she looked up to me and said “hmm, he was a good man.” I looked up at her, sighed, and walked away. So better to rephrase, it had been seven years since she uttered a single word to me. The man gave her everything and that’s all she has to say?! People like this no matter what their relation to you, don’t merit a single syllable.

My girlfriend, another source of disappointment, was a one Joanne Lamere, pretty little thing that stumbled into my life ironically as it may seem now, in a bar. I was out with my friend Bernard, months ago, drinking heavily at a local bar when I in an attempt to maneuver my way to the bathroom tripped over her foot. That was the catalyst that led to a relationship. As in any relationship, the first few months are magical, every word sends you to the galaxies and back, but with time, if the emotion is not mutual, things of a magical nature begin to fade. I like my father was also a hopeless romantic. About 6 months into our relationship she began to seem distant and indifferent, perhaps because of my own indifference to everything I failed to see it. But nonetheless sexual encounters began to become scarce, moments of emotional intimacy seized to be and she inevitably grew out of likeness with me. 2 months later I adventitiously ran into her at a restaurant, where she was eating chocolate covered strawberries out of a stranger’s mouth. Upon seeing this, a storm of jealousy and rage took over me, but instead of breaking up the happy couple, I went home, had a drink and threw all her shit out in the hall. But not before scribbling a few kind words on a sheet of loose leaf, and taping it to the outside of the door. The piece of paper read “you’ve been a good teacher, whore” That was the last I saw of her, this happened on a Thursday.

The following day I went to work as usual, I work in a human resources office of a major food corporation. Employees come in and complain about all sorts of things on a regular basis and my job is to type it up and load it into the system. After five complaints about an employee we are forced to give them a formal warning, after 8 we call corporate and recommend they speak with the branch manager, regarding termination of the employee. My job is dull and meaningless; there is no future in it and no compensation worth the trouble. However I stay, because I need the money. It’s as if I’ve made a deal with the devil but get nothing in return. Every moment spent inside that office building is a moment that will never return, often I sit and dream of a better existence while staring into my computer screen, not that my life has been that horrible, but I’m in search of at least a state of being content, something which right now seems distant.

Sometimes I wonder about my life, my short 24 ¾  years of life and think how can people endure a lifetime of this, do things actually get better? Is the grass greener? Or do we just become numb and accept the atrocities thrown our way because were blinded by glimpses of happiness. They become our life lines these glimpses, they give us a sense of continuity. As a victim of these recurring thoughts despite no real tragedy, I attribute this existential dilemma to a passing phase, a part of life necessary to “grow up.”  

After spending 8 hours in that dreadful office, depressed, betrayed, heartbroken, disillusioned, and feeling helpless I decided things couldn’t get any worse, and I accepted my friend Bernard’s invitation to go out that Friday night. He had been calling me all day at work after finding out about Joanne. We ended up going to a local bar that we frequented on a weekly basis. He spent all night trying to cheer me up, telling me how big of a slut she was, you know the kinds of things a buddy would say to make you feel better.

Once pretty inebriated I decided that if I could just sleep with another woman I would feel better about getting cheated on. So I went up the first pretty girl I saw, after all it didn’t really matter who the girl was or what she looked like, average, hell even a bit below average would have sufficed. I sparked up a conversation with a very cute girl that stood at the bar, after the initial introductions I invited her to have a shot with me; we drank and spoke about pretty much nothing. After a few drinks feeling kind of woozy we went out for a smoke where she leaned in unexpectedly and kissed me. As soon as this happened I thought…Yes!! It’s going to happen! But the moment our lips detached I saw a man out of the corner of my eye speed walking towards us, he pulled out a gun, took aim and fired. That was the last moment of my time on earth.

Now, I ask what was it all worth? Why now? After everything, this is how it ends? What a waste! If there is a god, why would he put me through so much crap to have it all end at the hands of some imbecile jealous boyfriend with a gun? The fact is, there is no answer, we don’t know these things, they just are. If I had a second chance I would love without fear, I would live as if nothing else mattered, I would dream without limits. Now however I lay lifeless in a morgue waiting to be buried, believe me there is nothing here, no paradise, no angels, no god, no devil, just nothingness. Live while you have the chance, don’t waste it, because it’s precious, every good moment and every bad moment. Don’t concern yourself with who you think you are or where you think you’re going, live this life that’s meant not to survive but to live.

© Copyright 2019 Michel R. All rights reserved.

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