I watch the smoke curl up from the cigarette that I hold in my hand. Thin and delicate, curving like a beautiful woman toward the cracked ceiling of my bathroom. I take a final drag and stand, tossing it in the toilet and flushing it all down. The water is cold at first as I step into the shower, but soon it is scalding, just the way I like it. Feeling the burning pain of the water lets me know I’m still alive. If it weren’t for things like this I would have to wonder, did I die a long time ago?

I wash the dirt from my short, thin body, but the dirt on the inside remains. I can feel the tar from a million cigarettes lining my lungs. I imagine my liver so enlarged and deteriorated by alcohol that it would one day be in a giant jar of formaldehyde in a science lab, future doctors peering inside with awe and disgust as they walked by. The filthiest of all is my mind. A twenty year old screw up, embarrassed to call myself a man, good for nothing but thinking of ways to kill myself and cleaning up at the local pizza restaurant.

After my shower I scour the kitchen for a clean bowl. The best I can find is the bowl I used yesterday, not yet rancid with sour milk, and I quickly run it under the faucet to create the illusion of cleanliness. As I do so I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window above the sink. Sometimes I wish I were better looking, with big muscles and a smile that could blind people or at least make them fall in love with you. Instead I tuck behind my ear my stringy brown hair that reaches my bony chin. Powerful is not a word someone would use to describe my presence. I am simply forgettable. I turn away from myself, as so many people in my life have done, and sit down at the folding chair and card table in my kitchen. Mindlessly I down my bowl of Fruit Loops, pull my uniform over my head, and duck out the door headed for work.

There is nothing about work that I enjoy. My job is to keep things clean. I don’t like to think of myself as a janitor, but that is basically what I am.

Lindsay Moe
Wasted Life
Page 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . 4. . . 5. . . 6. . . 7. . . 8. . . 9