Time for a bit of dying, he thought.
He’d generally push it to the side, all the way to the end. But it would always come back, like a pet that doesn’t want to go outside, and curl around his ankles.
So, for a change, that evening, when things turned to their familiar strangeness, he lay back in the bath and sank down, among the bubbles. Nothing would get better, he knew that very clearly. The crisscross-framed window ahead made floating diamonds ripple above his tummy, small faint cloud-shadows hung an inch or so below. He watched them. Watched with them, into them, from their start to their finish, right to their limits. Died with them. Then there was the sound of rain outside. He died with that sound too. Ended with it. Then the car wheels swishing by. He stayed with them, kept them company as far as he could hear, and as they passed, so he passed. Then his wife and child across the hallway. Their laughs and lives trapped forever inside the bell jar of that day.
Living is so overrated, he thought. Remembering to continue, remembering to survive, struggling to make linkages between spells of being.
Because nothing around him was going places, had better things in mind, ambitions beyond him.
Nothing in his bright glass could be lifted up and out, carried over, could get across.
Living was always missing the point.
Time for a bit of dying.
It was a strange question to think of asking.
He mostly thought of it when standing by that particular window when there was just a little light left in the day and hushed sounds in the garden outside. Thinking of it seemed to beckon, and, like a shy animal creeping forward, in his love would come, uninvited, but always invited, the softest, softest of breezes, curling around him, over his chest.
“How much would you cost, if you could cost, my breeze? Don’t you deserve a price like everything else?” he’d ask. “Surely if you could be, you would be expensive, more expensive than anything.”
It was worth everything, that moment, blue dusk, breeze carrying liquid song. He’d pay any price right then in that instance, his life’s savings without a thought, intoxicated, and if everything he had was to just disappear or turn out to never have happened, his loved ones, his home, his whole past, standing there by that wedged window, spellbound, he wouldn’t have minded at all.
He was, now, plainly hollow. Hollowed out for the world to see, by things as they fell through from nowhere to nowhere. It was as if he looked out from within a very deep well. Perhaps he was an actual well, into which things were dropped or fell, and fell forever without obstruction, all the way through him, on and on. He’d never know what the next thing would be. That breeze, this shine, that sound, that dancing inch by inch square of light on the ground beneath a shrub. In and down each went without explanation, without warning, only a flutter inside to know something had entered and passed through.