Gratification Through Annihilation

I don’t provide my services in a back alley. Far from it. The spare bedroom of my home is warm and calming and safe for those who, at the peak of their emotional burdens, can feel the weight of their worry and sorrow lift from their bellies.

I accept no payment.

I ask no names.

My wife, the light of my life and my partner in our secret community outreach, passed away five years ago. It still hurts to mention her.

Her loss was a singular catastrophe for my health and wellbeing. I meandered without purpose or direction for months before I could resume a semblance of my day-to-day activity. With no one left to love, and I include myself in that calculation, I had little remaining but my work and charity. Those would have to suffice. It was either that, or to join my wife in death. I knew it wasn’t time yet.

Continue reading “Gratification Through Annihilation”

Malcolm

malcolm

I didn’t understand. I had those floaty things. My teacher said everyone did. An artifact of our eyes developing, or something like that. I guess he’d been told the same thing, but it did him little good. His parents were concerned, of course, and they brought him to ophthalmologists who were all in agreement: his eyes were fine. When he denied the experts’ claims and doubled down on his insistence that something was wrong, his worried parents got him into therapy.

I guess the therapist helped him a little bit. Malcolm’s paranoia seemed to diminish somewhat and his anxious habits like twitching and blinking weren’t as pronounced. That was good – a lot of kids made fun of the way he blinked. He told me it helped push the things out of sight for a couple seconds.

Continue reading “Malcolm”