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Interlude

I clean up. Slowly, deliberately making sure that everything is in exact order. I wash the grease out of my hair and stare at my wet face in the mirror. I sigh, as I often do, as people often do when they are lonely. I open the blinds and stare out the window at the cars passing by in the sun, going so fast. The warmth of the sun does not permeate the glass of my window, and I am left in my own cold little world. I am not part of that warm, outside, social realm. I am stuck in the recesses of my broken mind.
Back at the mirror, I trace the lines of veins in my arm. They deliver life to my body. My body is alive, but where is my mind? My spirit? Anyone? I think my soul has been dead and gone for a long time. Trembling, I bring my pale fingers to my even paler lips. Goodbye.
I collapse. I fall. I hit the ground. I am down and out. My eyes roll back in my head. Symphonies play in the heavens, or is it my imagination? I breathe shallowly, watching the red of the blood, the life, drain from my arm and out onto the tile around me. It makes a lush, red pool. What a mess. I close my eyes. I fall asleep. I do not wake up.
It takes quite a long time for anybody to notice I am gone. Almost a week, and the landlord of my building unlocks the door to my little apartment. It is clean, perfectly clean, but an otherworldly stench fills the air. Somebody complained about the smell. She swears and covers her nose, looks around. Hesitant, she steps into the bathroom and vomits. My body, eyes slightly open, clad in a blue sundress, pale and creepily cold, lays in a ruby pool of stale blood. Flies buzz and tiptoe over my lifeless skin.
My landlord stumbles from my apartment, leaving the door ajar. Phone calls are made; my body is zipped away into a nice, warm bag. It takes a long time to scrub the rusty blood off of the white tile. The people in the apartment building do not talk about it, and the unit is left empty for a long while, the feeling of death hanging in the air like the sultry perfume of incense. Later, a young couple lives there for a few months, but the girl becomes increasingly disturbed and depressed. She opens the window one day and slips out, falling five stories to her death. I guess suicide is contagious.
At my funeral, I am dressed in a frilly, white dress. I am wedding the afterlife, marrying death. A glossy black coffin and a hole in the ground and me. This is what the people stare at. There are only a few, I didn't know many. Mother, father, roommate, ex-boyfriends. They all feel as if they need to be here, but they don’t want to. Nobody cries. They all wear black and stare into my pale, dead face, listening to the droning voice of the pastor. My mother is secretly relieved that she doesn't have to worry about me anymore. My father just wants to get away from there. Death freaks him out.
The hymns are sung, the coffin lowered into the hole, the dirt poured on top, the flowers placed on top of the mound. Car doors slam and my body is alone in the bed of earth. It will be a nice place to sleep for eternity, be forgotten. Life goes on.




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