Circles By D.I. Jolly

It was 7 am when his alarm started screaming, telling him he’d lain awake all night. The empty space beside him had proven too great a distraction. Although he and sleep had never truly been friends, they had always managed a workable love, hate relationship. As a child, his mind would spin in ever decreasing circles and it would keep him awake. Now it was the emptiness that held his attention. Too fixated on his own sorrow and self-loathing to even consider reaching out for something as soothing as sleep. Hot caffeine and cold showers were enough to get him up, and when they stopped working whiskey did the trick until it was time to lie back down and stare once again and the empty space beside of him. Part of him thought that perhaps if he drank enough he would simply black out or with some luck, die.

If only he were able to pull his mind away from loneliness for long enough, he could remember the metal box under his bed, but even that was too much, and the cycle continued. Finally, after three days and halfway through his fifth cup of coffee, a white light seemed to erupt in his vision. What seemed a moment later he was trying to pick himself up, wondering if it was coffee, blood or both that had glued his eye closed. Day had turned to night and almost back into day as he’d lain cold and alone on his kitchen floor. In the blur, his mind twisted and turned in small circles until it found a distant memory. And as he crawled to the shower to wash off whatever was covering his face, he let the memory grow. A way to break the cycle, to end the self-pity and wallow no longer. From the shower, he went to his bed, opened the metal box under neither it, took out the gun, put it against his temple and pulled the trigger. As his brains hit the wall beside him and his body the floor in front of him, his spirit sat motionless on the bed and for a moment stared at nothing. Then it lay down and fell back into thinking about the empty space beside him, waiting for 7 am, waiting to start the cycle all over again.

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