A smoldering cigarette lies half inside of an overused ashtray. Too old fluorescent bulbs flicker overhead. A glass of some strange liquor, left over from the previous night's diversions leaves a bitterness behind it as I wash away the morning film of dehydration and lipstick.
Used up. Exhausted. Worn thin. This is my life now, while it lasts. Not that I suffer from any specific malady that would leave one anticipating an early demise; no cancer or plague afflicts me, nor am I even psychologically capable of the quick release of suicide. No, no cause that modern medicine can detect stirs within me. But diseases of the soul don't show up in a scan, and lie silent beneath the stethoscope to even the most skilled ear.
No, I predict my demise simply because nature cannot long tolerate such an aberration. How long has it been already? Decades of laughing in the face of nature and god, and still no response. Is anyone listening?
It wasn't always like this. Isn't that what people like me are supposed to say? That comforting phrase to make other people, "normal" people, feel more at ease. To reassure them that some "thing" made me this way, that nature does not produce such demons, that god doesn't have so much disdain for existence to create an anomaly of such magnitude from birth?
I'm sorry poor reader, you'll find no comfort in these passages. I am not here to coddle you, nor comfort you, but to spin you a tale. Fiction perhaps, but what of my life has not been fiction? Acts in a play, penned by an unknown and drunken hand.
There were points, I will concede, where life was cleaner. More organized. But the underlying cause has been ever present all along. This taint upon my being has existed from before time to the extent of my knowledge.
Do you still care to see what life can be lived in such a condition? To watch with a morbid curiosity the life of such a creature? To look through his eyes, hear with his ears as he walks a world he was never made to survive? To vicariously experience his agonizing thirst for life that is never truly quenched and to hear the echos of his internal screams in the emptiness that fills his soul?
You must, else by now this volume would be closed and you would read no more. Such is your benefit, that at any moment you have the power to stop this invasion on your life of routine and normalcy and turn no more pages. I on the other hand have had no escape, no reprieve, no mercy. Very well, prepare yourself a strong drink for one of us deserves one and sadly my cabinet is bare. But toast your drink not to me, nor to this text, as neither should be thought so highly of. Toast yourself if you must, but know that you toast a fool and a masochist for no other would choose to continue down such a dark trail unforced, and let us begin...