Ghoul on Rye (Fiction)

I rub my eyes and check the clock. As the blurriness subsides, I lock onto the two hands. It’s 6:37 am. Not a surprise. No matter how late I sleep the night before, I manage to always wake up around six. I guess the habit has been instilled since my schooling days. 

I drove to the store today. I didn’t even need anything in particular, I just needed to drive. Radio off, the silence was loud enough. My thoughts. Thick as this morning's haze. It’s gloomy----I’ve always enjoyed the gloom. I used to plan to move to Seattle just for the weather. I tend to wear brighter colors on days like these. I left without warming up my car. Some say it’s a myth but I can feel the difference in my clutch sensitivity as I switch gears. As I shift, my thoughts shift too. Cringing over things I’ve done in the past. Worrying about plans made in the future. It’s as if I enter a time machine whenever I start my car; constantly reviewing the future and past, not realizing I’m wasting the present. 

I stayed in the grocery store parking lot. Still. I cracked open a window and a beer. Surveying the lot, watching the elderly do their early morning shopping. I noticed this one couple begin to argue as they were packing the groceries in the trunk. The woman kept nagging at him, I didn’t get a good listen as I could honestly care less. Next thing I saw was a rotisserie chicken thrown on the ground as they drove off. I got out of my car and walked up to the mess; hands in my pocket, staring at the wasted food. Looking down at what could’ve been a great meal between the two. The laughter they could’ve shared while passing along a drumstick. Deciding on whether they should travel to Maui or Oahu for their next summer vacation. A missed opportunity for good conversation. I began stomping on the chicken, smashing it further and further into pieces. Mush. The heel of my Doc Martens piercing through the roasted carcass; bones shattering bit by bit, some of the skin got on my jeans. I wasn’t particularly frustrated at anyone or anything, the sudden urge was rushing through me. I felt nothing. A crowd appeared as I continued, stunned. Once I noticed the eyes of these herded sheep… I stopped and kicked the residue off my shoe. I slicked back my hair and kept composure. The stares continue as I walk back to my car. The leftover chicken grease caused my foot to slip on the clutch as I fled the crime scene.

Did that make me feel better? 


I’m going home.

Hours pass and I feel as if I’m better off alone. No more false hope. No more dependency. I enjoy my time alone. Then it gets too cold. So I head back to my friends. They welcome me with warm hugs; we share a drink. The laughter coming from the nonsensical banter fills the room. Catching up, reflecting on the “good times.” The good times were indeed good times, but there comes a point when a memory should just be left where it was and not constantly dwelled upon. Present time shouldn’t be focused on the past. I miss this. I also don’t. The cycle repeats. 

You get tired of things. People. The actions they do. Even what they don’t do. I called off the date with Naomi; she didn’t take it too well. I needed time for myself. It was rather an impulsive decision. It’s for the best. Company can be too much at times. 

I’m tired of this same routine. The same old spots. I need a change of environment, a new scene.. but will that really help? Bringing the same baggage to a new place will essentially feel as if nothing has changed but the wallpaper. I haven’t been using my recipes lately. It has been ramen packs for the past month or so now. I’m not as excited as I once was. No more drive. Maybe the feeling will pass.

It did pass and so did I.

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