Douglas Noble
James (2 of 8)

Wondering about death was not a new thing for James.  He had
often contemplated it—that is to say wondered about it.  He had
never really had any intentions of killing himself.  But when one sits at a workstation in a factory minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, and year after year, a person can come up with all sorts of intricate and elaborate plans that they never really intend to carry out. 

He had often wondered what his funeral would be like, and truth be told this very question may have saved him from himself more than once.  Who would come to his funeral?  His mother died when he was a boy.  His father hasn’t been seen since he was almost 18—the last he had heard James Sr. was somewhere in Florida.  On top of this James really had no friends.  So who would come?  NO ONE.  Ok, maybe the crazy cat lady across the hall, and that’s if he addressed the suicide note to her and mentioned there would be more than enough free food at the event.  His supervisor might show, but he didn’t like the fact that she seemed to pity him as it was—pity for the dead is one thing, but pity for the living is just uncomfortable in James’ mind. 

So really what would be the point of suicide? What would be the point of getting himself all worked up for such an anti-climactic event?  Besides, life was easy enough.  In fact, he barely had to try—get up, go to work, go to the bar, have three Old Milwaukees, go home, watch M.A.S.H., sleep, and start over. 

This day was different though.  After work James went to the bar and the bartender actually asked him how his day was.  Maybe it was the new smile, maybe it was just a coincidence.

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