matchbox and cobalt

The lone hand grenade

…he was 28 years old…nothing unusual about him…he lived in a town too small, worked a job too dull, and lived a life too sad…he was so happy once…weren’t we all so happy once?…some of us can find the reasons for happy again…some of us can find the darkest shades in a white horizon…at this point in his life, and by “his” I mean “Randy’s” for now, Randy had all but given up…and his conditions weren’t asking him to stick around either…he had just moved out of his comfortably quiet and roomful apartment…into a 12 by 12 matchbox with a bath and plenty of pests to spare…he also left behind his true and only love…she was his sunset…she was also his hand grenade…they were each other’s hand grenades…constantly using each other for safety and protection…keeping each other organized…keeping each other unified…winning the battles together…and randomly pulling the pin when they weren’t looking…exploding all over the place…friendly fire and then some…they could never regroup and move forward…they left only pieces of each other on the battlefields…and he still lives everyday inside that war…like a true veteran…he misses the times he got out alive…and even the times he was ripped to shreds by shrapnel…“love is almost as meaningful as war…almost no one sees it coming, there’s almost always casualties, and there’s never 2 winners“…so he sat in his little meat locker…and winter would come and go…he would write music or short stories….he would drink…he would wonder why he was still alive…and he did wonder why almost all the time…a couple times a week he would try and call her…write her something…nothing ever came about these attempts…only more confusion…and so down he would slip…nothing ever became easier or brighter…and he decided that there was no point…

A close call to the suicide hotline

….this was the perfect morning…Randy thought, for once, that something great would happen this day…that the clouds would not clear, the birds’ songs would not please, nor the life he lived not matter…but he did see the final page…and he grew so tired of reading life with a candlestick, because the story was just too miserable to him…so, on that day…Randy had bought a cheap $150 single barrel pump action Remington shot gun from a local store when he decided to take the crumby apartment in the crumby neighborhood…he kept it unloaded, for he had very mixed feelings as to guns and what they should be used for…“in one hand you should be able to own a gun and use it if your life depends on doing so…yet they are marketed to a rural constituent for the purposes of hunting, witch in my mind was a very human ritual that has been as relevant as the bible in the last 100 years…after all, we need not kill animals with every advantage, considering we can buy their body parts already cooked and on a bun, and not even get out of our automobiles“…it just seemed like a middle American marketing scandal to him…and rather than just work harder and find a much safer place to live within his means, Randy took whatever….wherever…he didn’t care anymore…anyhow, that morning he had woken up drunk…he was already 2 hours late for work…his head felt like a burlap sack full of fighting wildcats….he pulled the black sheets that blanketed the cheap window overlooking a busy street below…it was cold…the sky was as wild and warm as an ice tray…he couldn’t find a reason to set foot out there…it may as well have been Pluto outside…he felt like an alien already…before he turned away, letting the black curtain slide into place locking out the day, he noticed a large box truck parked just below his window…he lived right of center of the main entrance…someone was moving in…he had just woken up and could already hear the scuffle and chattering of the new tenant rustling about the halls…“great, more people I have to avoid“…Randy put on a record…he walked over to his closet…he pushed aside a wall of hung shirts and pants, parting them like hair…against the wall rested a cold blue steel pole attached to a wooden handle and stock…he pulled the shotgun from it’s hiding place…he then slid open a shoebox just above the hanging wardrobe on a shelve ahead…he clawed 3 red tubes…these tubes had brass ends and held hundreds of small metal pellets within them…they were loaded with gunpowder and built to explode sending shrapnel flying out at hundreds of miles…he finally decided that he would use the shrapnel…he finally decided that his life had glory and reason…and he put the red tubes into the side of the cobalt -blue and wooden machine…he pulled back the loading mechanism…it sounded like a thousand soldiers marching…schlick! schlick!…and an explosion happened indeed…

It sounded nothing like the movies

…and another…and another…and if you would have ever guessed that a shotgun blast igniting within a cheaply constructed, close quartered tiny slum like this one ever sounded like a Hollywood shoot ‘em up, you would be grimly surprised…for it would take a cannonball bursting through twenty snare drums to replicate the sound of Randy’s shotgun…if it had went off…or if he was convinced it had gone off…because after he carelessly fingered the trigger down towards the floor, and expected his brains and skull to flee towards the ceiling, he heard nothing but a enormous crash of knuckles slamming into his front door, just feet from his small couch on witch he sat casually trying to escape this alien world he had ended up on…and another…and another…as alcoholics or drunkards sometimes have moments of mental opposition…as if one second you’re in the corner ranting about work, or religion, or politics…slobbering and spitting drunk…with the passion of a arch angle…something inside switches off…and you just turn away…nothing of that content matters anymore…no politics, no religion…you just want to go home and sleep…or call you ex-girlfriend…or vomit…or cry…or drink more…and Randy had a mental opposition…the white slid down his face like a toilet flush…and color injected him with haste…his shotgun placed aside the couch…and his body now standing in front of his door, unlatching and unlocking…it was as if he had just woke from a dream…neither bad nor good, just a dream….and jarred from his unconscious consciences he sprang into our world…the awake world…yet he wasn’t dreaming…he was about to blow the brains out of the back of his skull…and the shot was the last thing he heard…yet it wasn’t a shot….it was a bang on his door…and he flung it open, to stare at the face of his mortal alarm clock…he wasn’t sure if he should be happy about being interrupted…and in his doorway, completely ajar, stood a young lady…slim, caramel skin…short, and blue eyes…she was smiling…not just smiling, but radiating the feeling of smiles…her eyes glimmered against her warm skin, and dark hair…Randy spoke…”hi”…she intercepted “hi, sorry for bothering you” as if she knew what and why everything was happening, yet had all the answers and was not at caution “my name is Francesca…I’m moving in next door and I wanted to know if you could give me a hand?”…and she looked at Randy as if she knew he had no choice in the matter, that everything that would happen was and is already going to happen and always was going to happen…”I’d love to”…Randy replied…and he turned to grab his keys, and lock up…and on the couch sat Randy, skull and brains dancing down from the ceiling, blood gathering like a spring feeding a lake at his feet, and the blue smoke fluttering from his mouth…he locked the front door, took Francesca’s hand and they walked down the hall into nothing…….

 

 

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