Thoughts and Revelations

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12:35:02 p.m. September 23rd

I’m running down an alley quicker than I’ve ever run before. I’m sweating, panting. A hot man in more ways than one. Everything that I took, everything that I stole is in my bag and this alley seems narrower than I originally thought—suffocating, squeezing, stomping me out. These walls are still moving closer. I hear a mixture of city sounds, although my only real concern is that of the blaring police siren that’s getting nearer. I’m sure it’s for me.
12:35:43 p.m.

I finally reach the end of the alley only to find a fence blocking me from my future abstentious reality and lifetime of guilt and emotional unrest. So much like most Americans’ current lives. I have no way of scaling this sharp, cunning bastard. The fifteen feet of never ending metal diamonds topped off with a tangle of chicken wire would make me look like that shredded shirt on the other side of this periolous silver ogre.
12:36:11 p.m.

Footsteps click, clack, and splash—now highlighting the collapsing alley that appears to be swallowing me whole. I panic. If only I could jump this entire building. Hell, if only I could have changed my whole situation in the first place.
12:36:38 p.m.
Dogs. I hear dogs. I HATE dogs. Why did it have to be dogs? Dammit, this sucks. Why am I the way I am?
How did things crumble and burn so quickly and with such speed in my life? It must’ve been Dan. That a**hole. Always telling me he was glad that I wasn’t his real son. Saying I would never grow up to be worth jack-nothing. A hooligan compared to his army rat son who was only there because it was his last chance before being thrown into jail for his coke addiction. Goes to show you that siding with Uncle Sam will ALWAYS put dirt on your shortcomings. Dan kicked my a** around harder than that liquor bottle was always hitting. What a waste of a human.

Maybe I never fully recovered after Ronnie’s death. Man, I miss him. Didn’t see it coming. That Cholo on the street corner. Never realized he was such a bad dude. What designates the basketball courts as a part of his turf? Only if I would’ve made that three I wouldn’t have witnessed my bro getting pumped full of lead and treading himself in an inch-thick pool of his own blood. I’ll rob that Mexi-dude if he ever stumbles back up my south side block again. Blast a hole in his chest just like he did to Ronnie’s.

How did I end up the way that I am?

Maybe if I hadn’t dropped out of high school like the other however many kids in my class. Gotten my GED. Maybe even taken some classes at that community college downtown to get a diploma in something. Be the first in my sorry excuse for a family to receive some form of a degree or qualified piece of paper. Change my perspective on life. Become one of those guys in one of those high rises downtown doing that nine to five thing. Even something that boring would’ve worked. But I never got along with the teachers in high school. Why would I listen to them now?

How did I end up the way that I am?
I hate myself. I hate this life that I lead. Where did I go wrong? Why me? Why have I always drawn the short straw?
12:38:06 p.m.

Dogs and shadows appear.

The space is stifling, robbing me of what’s left of my sanity. My body would collapse in on itself if there were any more pressure.

Maybe I should just kill myself. End it all. I’ve got a knife and a gun on me right now. Load that silver bullet and feel the back of my brain take flight into this alley. Stabbing myself would be too long. Too mid-evil for me anyways. I’d be the laughing stock of the whole Chicago Police Department. Damn, then I guess it’s the gun. Quick and easy, no doubt.
12:39:52 p.m.

He cocks and loads. Adds barrel to mouth. Breaths in oil and a healthy dose of cowardice and death. His body shakes like it has millions of little earthquakes clamoring through it. He lacks color, lacks a soul. These are his last actions and he knows it.
12:40:00 p.m.

“Freeze! Put the bonds and the gun down now!”

Shake and tremble. Twitch and feel the last bits of life trickle down in beads of sweat. Taste death piercing through his jugular and saying goodbye to the back of his bloody spinal cord. Force him to take his final bow for his final audience as his knees buckle. His eyes faced north to his hopefully just Lord.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! A hand swings and launches a dollar and fifty cent alarm clock across the room, shattering the pitiful piece of Chinese factory plastic.
5:30:00 a.m. September 23rd

He wakes up in a black room—his own—to the panting of his own breath and the 24/7 bustle of Chicago. He touches his face as if discovering he has one for the very first time. He feels his oily, sweaty face, smells his own B.O. He looks out his window and sees the glamorous stars that are the lights of the Chicago skyline; each speck of light twinkling and winking—promising fame and future. And most importantly—change. With his eyes staring forward and fate changed, he moves out of bed to start his day and takes a walk on the slick city streets outside of his seedy apartment building.

He walks and walks. His thoughts wander. In the gutter he picks up a pamphlet for computer classes at a local I.T. school downtown. Free education. He takes the crumpled, downtrodden brochure, stuffs it promptly into his pocket, and stomps off into the early morning shadows.





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