Hermit

He cannot outrace the sadness as he runs from one distraction to another. Always, at the end of the day, sadness waits for him, a steady companion as he prepares a meal for one, as he watches tv by himself, as he goes through the motions of preparing for bed. He does not actually sleep – he lies there and waits. Sometimes his thoughts toss and turn him to exhaustion, and he finally falls into an uneasy repose. Other times, he gives up, and gets up to watch yet more tv, the flickering light repeating in an insomniac pattern across the windows of the appartment building, an S.O.S. for all to see. Except there are no rescue teams, no boats, no lifeguards, no swat teams, no, no, noone.

He doesn’t sigh – he’s not one for self-pity. He just feels the weight of the sadness pushing him down, its heaviness preventing actual movement. He distracts himself by trying to recall lists of things. Sometimes he will try and list elements of a category using all the letters of the alphabet. Those distractions offer a short respite from the heaviness, a pause as though putting down barbells and picking them up again. It’s mental exercise, at least. He sighs – who is he trying to kid? His thoughts hang on to the word “kid”, he blanks it out, does not want to go to the dark place that is his childhood. He turns the light on, looks at his spartan surroundings, a conscious attempt at avoiding hurtful associations that would send him spiralling down in no time. He lives in avoidance, walks on eggs. He thinks he might benefit learning a new language. He’s heard of people who whistle to express themselves. That would be perfect. Hopefully, his thoughts would become tunes. He perks up, ever the musician. He can relate to that. His chest fills with hope as he searches the Internet for that magic cure.

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