Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Prompt

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

-Anton Chekhov


  1. I leaned on the railing along the pier and looked out over the water. Debris rocked in the waves. I had a high school writing class moment and drew inner simile connected the flotsam with the shredded pieces of my soul that were still left, floating around the bay of my.

    “Your writing is like everything else,” I told myself out loud. “Shit with the world's largest, most gaudy bow tied around it.”

    I looked down where my hands were crossed on the splintered rail. In my left hand there was a piece of paper. I didn't remember what my wife had written on it. That had been before we were married. When love was real, the sun was in the sky, and God was in heaven. I dropped the paper and let it join the passing debris.

    In my right hand was a small revolver.

    “How did you wind up here?” I asked myself in a voice that echoed with hopelessness.

    Unpaid bills. Unattended children. Unloved wife.

    I caressed my cheek and then my chin with the muzzle of my handgun. “So freaking heroic, aren't you?” I laughed. And I pulled back the hammer.

    Middle East peace talks. World terrorism. Financial crises. My stock in trade.

    Jennifer had been left to pick up the tab. And pick up the kids after school. And pick up the groceries at the store. And pick up the mail at the post office. All that was too much for me. “Screw you, Jennifer I don't have time to deal with this crap, just take care of it!”I pressed the gun up under my chin. I pressed so hard I could feel ever detail of the circular outline. I couldn't keep doing this.

    I closed my eyes.

    Suddenly there was a scream from the parking lot. Dropping my existentialist facadde, but keeping a tight grip on my revolver, I ran towards the disturbance. My shoes slapped hard against the ground. As soon as I got close, I saw a man pressing a woman against the side of her minivan.

    “Stop!” I yelled, in full crisis mode.

    I didn't even need to think. I just reacted. I charged at the man, who did not expect such a bold move and was caught off balance. He went down to the pavement, and I pressed his throat with my foot until he passed out. “Call 911, right now,” I told the lady who had been assaulted.

    Crisis averted.

    Back to normal life.

    Normal life. With no Jennifer. With no Alex and no Cherise, either. With a foreclosed house. A repo'd car. A struggle with alcoholism. Normal life.

    I didn't even need to think. I just reacted.

    I swallowed as much of the revolver as I could and then pulled the trigger.

  2. OMG, Nevets! Why oh why do you insist on painting such graphic images so close to bedtime? LOL! That was very, very good!

  3. Three am. The ER had finally settled down after eight solid hours of sloppy drama. It began as soon as this shift of seasoned docs and nurses, headed up by Dr. Markowitz, stepped in for duty, taking over for the bleary-eyed bunch that preceded them.

    Like a relay race, there was no time to chit-chat. The rested bodies grabbed the baton and took off. Into the chaos of victims from a multi-vehicle accident. Crushed femur, skull fracture, massive chest trauma, hysterical family members. Markowitz's team handled it all with the grace and ease of a synchronized swim team.

    On the heels of that little warm up was a gang shooting. The amount of blood flowing through the room would have made even a vampire swoon. Add to that the shouted plans of revenge being plotted and the pleading cries of mothers and girlfriends, and it was hard to stay focused.

    Hanging on the outskirts of the night were the typical ER events...broken ankle, asthma attack, dog bite, sushi-ed up index finger. Nothing this team couldn't handle with their eyes closed.

    Miraculously, the linoleum and plastic furnished room cleared out. Josephine, the desk nurse, shooed Markowitz and his team into the adjacent break room for a quick break before the next onslaught.

    Coffee mug in hand, nurse Thompson threw out the question, "Hey, I thought you were taking a few days off?"

    Markowitz shrugged. "Yea, me too. But my mother-in-law broke her hip so Janie left this morning."

    "And that's a bad thing?" laughed Thompson.

    "I didn't think so," said Markowitz, "until my kids had to show me how to make coffee and use the Direct tv remote. I called the babysitter."

    "How'd you even...?"

    "Oh, Evan informed me that her number is a speed dial on his cell phone. Cheeky little five year old."