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After all this time I still haven’t been able to adapt to the heat. The sun rises every day as if its sole purpose is to make my blood boil. My agony fuels it. Every drop of sweat that secretes from my skin serves as the sun’s elixir of life. The cosmic tyrant. You’d think that at least the weather would cool down once the sun sets, but oh how wrong you’d be. Even when the sun returns to its home below the horizon, it is still hard at work. The temperature does not drop a single degree, or even half of one. At night, the sun’s absence simply gives your eyes a break, that is all.
Just as the sun raises our body temperature, it upsurges our tempers as well. The streets are littered with chaos and rage. Crimes here are consistent, pervasive, ever-present. Rarely do some sweat drenched persons walk by another without, at the very least, exchanging a pair of angst ridden glances. Everyone wishes the worst for everyone, and most people try to make those wishes reality. At this very moment, I am wishing you horrid things. Nefarious things. You would think that there’d be some civilized people here, or some peace-makers. But once again, your thoughts would betray you. “Civilized” does not exist here. Neither does anything inherently good. Atrocity is common place and pleasantry is the plague. All is just and sympathy is nonexistent. Blood floods the streets and screams fill air. Death is a phenomena, pain is reality.
Welcome to Hell.
46 years of life have brought me here. Every breath I took was a step closer to this. This haven of insanity and suffering. My decisions in life have led me here. Some say that, in essence, I wanted to come here. Do I regret having putting my wife in her place over the years? No. She deserved every hand that fell upon her. But there’s one thing she didn’t deserve. To be here.
Time is not measurable here. There’s night and day, but no hours or minutes. There’s no sleep either; however, souls need not to sleep. Food does exist, but it isn’t necessary for survival. Everything is disgusting and its only purpose is to torture you. Hunger doesn’t exist here, at least, not in the literal meaning. We all hunger for salvation or an end to this pain. Aside from these things, life is pretty much the same here. Only nothing has purpose. That’s the worst thing about Hell. Sure it’s maddeningly hot, but what really makes me hate this place is the pointlessness. When there’s no job to go to, people to please, hunger to satisfy, or errand to attend, existence becomes the ultimate suffering. And here, existence is eternal. This is it. Searching for my wife gives me a goal that even this abyss can’t corrupt or revoke. Joy does not live here, it simply can’t. That’s why I can search for my wife. My search doesn’t set me up for joy. If anything, it will lead me to more agony. Who’d have thought there would be loopholes in Hell? I go around looking to see that I don’t find my wife. My quest will either never end or it will end with me finding her, weeping for her soul. I’d probably ask for forgiveness, but forgiveness doesn’t exist here. She’d do or say something to provoke me and I’d treat her as I did when we were living. Had she died from my hand, there would be a good chance she wasn’t here. But she got drunk one night and drove head on into a tree. She died instantly. I got put on life support. Talk about vengeance. For seventeen months I was stuck in that depressing hospital, staring at this awful painting while a machine operated my heart. It was of a man sitting on a sailboat in the middle of the sea. There was nothing in the distance, just water. The man just sat there, in the painting, with a great big smile on his face, looking content with every aspect of his life, as if he never knew misery. I wish I knew who that painter was; I’d like to meet him here. There are a few things I’d like to tell him. Oh, and the nurses. Had they been mildly attractive I wouldn’t have minded them force feeding me their malicious nutritional concoctions. Oddly enough, I was more than ready to leave that damned hospital, if only I wasn’t paralyzed, I would’ve unplugged myself. If only I didn’t have significant brain damage that disabled my speech, I would’ve asked someone to do it. Not that anyone would agree; everyone I knew was a scumbag that took pleasure in my situation.
Every day I wanted to just give into the light, but I never seemed to be able to find that cursed tunnel. Instead I just sat in a field of quicksand, slowly sinking. Helpless. And with only that painting in front of me, mocking me. Looking back on it, I’d rather be in room 4842 instead of here, this morbid land of nothing. Seeing that painting would bring tears of joy to my eyes. I’d rather spend eternity in that bed than in here. If you think life is miserable, wait till you meet death.
So here I am; standing on the sidewalk, bathing in sweat. In front of me stands my first apartment. I lived in that small apartment for six years before I met my wife, and then once we got married we moved to the other side of the city. Come to think of it, my wife and I went on our first date down the block to this shady Japanese restaurant. Fish has an expiration date; the chef seemed to think otherwise. I want to go and visit my old home, but I have a feeling it won’t be the same. I hadn’t seen it once since I moved into the new home. I can’t imagine it being the same. But my wife could be anywhere, so I may as well look inside. I’m not short on time. Quaintly, with eternity, procrastination ceases to exist. I head into the building. The double doors still rusty in all the same places. It even makes the same creaks. I walk down the hall and press the button for the elevator. I wait. Not to my surprise, the elevator is on the top floor and is making its way down ever so slowly, stopping at several floors. It finally reaches the ground level and opens. I look at it, surveying its walls and floor. I decide not to get in as it could very well fall and crash at the bottom, marooning me in my first building’s elevator shaft for eternity. I think I’ll take the stairs.
I reach the seventh floor, panting. I walk to the third door on the left to find it slightly open. I push in the door quietly. As the view of the room becomes full, it all looks the same as I had left it. I see the same coffee table I had with the electrical tape around its legs, after I had kicked it so many times. My carpets gone, as I had taken it to our new place and that ugly vase I had is here…wait. I’ve never seen that vase before. I walk up to it to take a closer look.
“Who are you?” a soft but defiant voice says. I look up from the vase to find a thin woman with baggy eyes and rough hands standing between the bedroom and the kitchen. Her eyes are intense, like a tiger focused on its prey.
“Who are you?” She repeats, angrily and begins to walk towards me. “What do you want? I don’t know you. Get out!” She hastens her pace.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here. The door was…” She reaches me and hits me in a fit of rage. She attacks my head as if were a drum. I back out into the hallway. Once there she slams the door in my face. On the bright side, my wife was nowhere to be found.
I go to that seedy sushi restaurant down the block, where my wife went for our first date. I open the doors and can hardly see. There are clouds of smoke lingering in the malodorous air. There are a few people at the bar. Drinking here offers no pleasure; you go straight to the hangover. Old habits die hard, even in Hell. In the back I notice a lady sitting down. She’s twirling an empty glass in her hands, focused on it as if it holds the secret to escape. Her jet black hair reminds me of my wife. In fact, so do her hands. Her fingers are just as delicate. It dawns on me right then and there. My wife is sitting across the room from me. She has that somber look upon her face that she held onto for most our married years. My quest has come to an end, only in the most morbid of ways.
I want to approach her. I want to tell her something. Anything. Is it really her? Is she just as evil a person as I? What could she have possibly done to cause her to share the same fate as me? It can’t be her. It mustn’t! But truth is a mere forgotten concept here; lies are all that live. I can never be truly sure if that is indeed my wife sitting in the booth. Never will I have the satisfaction of knowing her fate. I ask the bartender for a drink and finish it standing. The headache comes immediately, but I can handle it. I order another one and take it with me to the lady in the back. I sit in chair across from her, and I just stare. I stare at the woman I once loved and hated. The woman who is now my paramount suffering; the reminder of my deeds. She ignores me and continues to stare at her glass. My eyes fill with tears, right to the brim. I pour my drink down my throat and slam the glass down on the table. I stop the waiter walking by and point to my empty glass. As he pours me another drink, the dams of my eyes burst. All the while, her eyes stay fixated on her empty glass. Welcome to Hell.