BEING DEAD (Chapter 1) End and Beginning

“It’s the end of the world.  Let it be over, John.”

John sat across from his liquored friend and shot him a frown.  “Are we on this again, Alan?”

“Don’t make fun of me.  You don’t know—“

“—don’t know what it’s like?  You’d think by now I’d know exactly what it’s like just from hearing you tell me so often.  It’s not THAT bad; it’s never THAT bad.”  Said John.

Alan pushed his bottom lip high to his nose with scorn.  “You never let me have my moments, do you?”

The sunlight faded from the curtains of Alan Venar’s giant windows and revealed through them his vast and ridiculously expensive estate.  John sat across from him with his feet propped up on the table and a cup of tea in his left hand.  Alan took another long drink from his glass and slammed it down hard on the desk in front of him.

“You’re taking this all very well.”  Said John.

“Shut up.”

“I mean considering getting dumped just as you realized all of your faults and committed to change.”

“Oh shut up.”

“If your life got any more pathetically ironic, then you could write it as a book, but even then people would just laugh at it as they do just watching it unfold.”

“Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh!”  Alan groaned.  He knocked a book off of his desk and glared at his friend.  “I get it.  Thank you.  I don’t think I need your lovely recount of my exhilarating life.”

John laughed and drank from his glass again.  “Exhilarating?  I do hope that was sarcasm.”

Alan twitched.  “Do I know any other form of speech?”

“Now that you’re not attached to anyone…have you told Meagan how you feel about her?”

Alan glared hard at him.  “How crass would that look?  Getting tossed aside just to come back to her two years later with a revelation that…oh forget it.  NO.  I have not told her anything.  And I don’t plan to.”

The room was silent as John stood up and placed his now empty glass on Alan’s desk.  “Well you seem to be well and I’ve errands to run.  When can I expect your new romantic project to arrive?”

“Not funny, John.  Too cold even for you.”

“Well you’ll be fine.  I wasn’t a fan of the last one anyways.”  He said with a smile.  He made his way to the door.

“Give Catherine my regards.  Let her know how sickened I am that the two of you found each other.”  Said Alan leaning back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest.

“Ha!  Don’t be jealous, Alan.  You’re still trying to better yourself, so don’t regress.  I’ll give Catherine your very best instead.”  He replied with a laugh as he exited the study.

“Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  Let’s all laugh at the failed romantic.”  Said Alan.  He turned the chair and stared out of the window with his lip pressed high up to his nose again at the fading image of John Aerland as he made his way to his car.

Another failed attempt at normal human relation and Alan had had enough.  In his usual way of doing things his head had just taken over and driven him completely by logic until there was nothing of a romance left.  In short, he was a jerk and worse off he was made aware of it to the point of seeking correction.  But that wasn’t enough and what was done was done—too little and too late to save what he considered to be a critical piece of his existence.  And like all failed attempts at living he went ultimately into the furthest and darkest corner of his mind until he could go no further.

Somewhere in that stark blackness he found the will to come back and put down his bottle long enough to remember something that John had said before leaving.  How telling the story of his life would be laughable and depressing and it would be treated the same as his actual life was.  A living fictional character.  One that no one gave a damn about in reading or in watching him live.

And then it struck him and the idea grew like a blackened seed of pure genius.  Branching and spreading until his entire mind was encompassed with the greatness of such a terribly wonderful idea.  It would be perfect and he would finally be free of all the torment.  Yes, this would be his grand opus and career defining moment.  He stumbled  to his feet and began planning for the greatest act of his life—dying.


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