Asleep -- Descriptive Practice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Unfinished, inspired by Asleep by The Smiths

Submitted: December 15, 2012

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Submitted: December 15, 2012

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It was something about the way he sat. The way his shoulders were hunched, the way his feet rested on the floor, the way his hands laid loosely at the armrests of the armchair. The way his chest rose and fell calmly, slowly, and the way his spine was growing steadily into the curve of an ampersand. The way his body overall was contented and subdued despite the smell of his breath, a distinct scent of alcohol that caught in his nose each time he sighed, a resigned expulsion of air intended to lift the weight off his shoulders that only brought the world back with them. It was something about the way he let his eyes roam about the room, with a gaze full of both admiration and distaste, taking in every detail of his surroundings all at once with practiced pupils, trained for accuracy. It was the way the sound of his breathing left the air in the room uneasy, like the sound of a pin dropping could send him into a chorus of cursing within less than a snap of a second like the devil was sitting in the armchair opposite, taking notes. It was the wrinkles under his eyes, the grooves that ran from the corners near his nose and outward like trenches prepared for rivers waiting to flow from tear ducts that thickened the air with the melancholy. 

 

No, his hands weren't idle. In his left rested a shined glass of wine, half empty in the eyes of the pessimist that possessed it, containing a solution that once held a sweetness he enjoyed, but now only brought bitterness to his tongue. Every so often, it would raise to his lips, though it was lowered before it was tilted to be emptied entirely -- the stomach could only hold residency to so much at a time. It was a relatively fine wine, but its purpose was far from celebratory, as this was no event, but a passing, and no congratulations made it past his teeth. To accompany the glass, two others matched, placed with the utmost care on the side table; they'd come in a set of four, but the last was across the room in scattered pieces of a whole that rang out in a shatter you could hear if you squinted. Twice, he told himself the two dismissive words of "Oh well," and twice, he told himself he'd clean it up, but only when the glint of reflected artificial light would catch him in the eye, demanding attention. 

 

In his right rested a messenger. It didn't carry syllables and letters as much as it dragged along weight, cold and lifeless, with a ball and chain, nor did it provide any sort of sound but a click, or a resounding bang alternatively. The words behind it painted a picture worth a thousand, inaudible but thick with disdain all the same. Symbolic, really, the image of a gun in one's hand, no matter how loose and halfhearted the grip may be. It was old, the kind of gun you would think to see at the top shelf of a man's closet, gone unused and forgotten about for years, collecting dust that left behind the fingerprints on the trigger, the story across the handle, gone cold from the absence of his palm. Now, his index finger rested without cause on the trigger, tracing a random pattern of disorganization along the surface in correspondence to the thought process of the brain occupying his skull. What was far too easy to read from the picture, this picture worth a thousand words in his hand, was that it carried the messengers lined up in an unmistakable column, lined up like soldiers for battle, no, tourists. They were tourists of a linear tube, visiting a city of grey matter that was filled with roads and streets without signs for directions, that fell under a moon at noon, yet still remained dark. 

 

To say the room was soundless was a monumental hyperbole. The window panes were under blitzkrieg as thin shards of water broke against them, the sort of rain to sting unsuspecting skin just out of reach of an umbrella. Each drop was a muffled gunshot, contributing to an encore of rapid-fire, the constant drone of tap-tap-tapping. As well as the glass, it invaded the roof, providing an underlying drum beat to the mantra in his head the matched it in a practical verbatim. 


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