The gun cried out to him from the glovebox. It yelled to him to put it in his mouth and pull the trigger. He couldn’t wait for the silence to come after he did, for the respite and the peace, to bathe in the ink of oblivion and never feel the burn of the cruel light of day on him again. The hell of living in the world would cease once he parked his car outside of town and blew it all away. I hear you, he thought, through tearing eyes. The tug of sadness at a forfeit future and the pangs regretting a misspent life only enflamed his ache, the ache that devoured his will to continue
The song playing on his radio made him think of walking the streets of this town countless nights. How he yearned for someone, anyone to recognize his pain and let him know he meant something, anything to anyone. It never happened. He never mattered, so it made more sense to just, be done. No hope for any joy. The things he lived for had lost their pleasure, rote empty offerings that only increased the growing hunger for any worthwhile endeavor.
Yeah, he imagined, people would say, he has a good job, he had family that loved him, but why did he feel so alone, so desolate? Nothing filled the gnawing void. No woman, no child, no mother, father, sister, brother or any other relationship for that matter. Why? Why didn’t that help? Why bother asking? None of it mattered. The pain was at its end. Why hold on to living when all it brings is pain?
He drove closer to the park at the edge of town. A place he felt some peace. This would be the place they would find him, in his car facing the stream, his back to the civilization surrounding him, his face looking out toward the solace of a natural refuge. That’s what he wanted. To see with his last glance the moving water, the rustle of a breeze through the trees, the luminescence of the pale light of the moon dancing through the tops of the trees, the sound of the frogs singing as he rode the burning wind to resplendent oblivion. Alone, as he ever was, to the eternal.
“You Are Not Alone.” The sign bellowed at him from the front yard of a humble house.
“I am,” he said to the empty night.
“You Are Not Alone.” It screamed. The sign yelled so loud he stopped his car. “You Are Not Alone.” It repeated. His chest struggled up and down as his breath became erratic. “You Are Not Alone.” The liquid pooled over his sclera threatening the stream from the corners of his eyes across his cheeks. He looked away from the sign toward the road leading to the park. “You Are Not Alone.”
He put the car in park in the middle of the street. Without thought, he found himself on the doorstep of some strange home. His shaking tremulous hand extended a finger and pressed the yellow circular light. He heard the small din of the weak bell mew in a muted voice somewhere in the recesses of this house. He stood, transfixed, waiting for any sign of life inside. He lacked the strength to ring the bell again. Interminable, the silence that returned told him he was being lied to. He was alone.
He turned. The light of his car scratched down the road toward the true solace he needed. The end of the pain, the end of life, at the edge of his light. He stepped down from the stoop toward the vehicle. Behind him, he heard the yawn of the sleeping door opening like slumbering eyes. “Hello,” a voice said, “It’s late. What do you need?”
He turned to see the unfamiliar face, “I am alone.”