Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1414294-Desperation
by Advent
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Cultural · #1414294
A man dealing with the stress of the world.
         You see it everywhere now. People chasing advertising. People buying the newest CD from their favorite role model singer. Others take companies to court just trying to make a quick buck. You see murderers walking away free because of a lack of evidence, or a missing factor when it's obvious he's guilty. You also hear about the innocent being executed for a crime they didn't commit and no one found out till it was too late. It could only tell me one thing: Our system of life is collapsing. Residents of the world were becoming mindless corporate slaves.
         I stood in my dark apartment looking out over the New York skyline. Thunder and lightning filled the air. Rain beaded down the window. Glared down toward the street. Cars rode back and forth in both directions. I could only look upon them with hate. How could anyone really feel alive anymore? Hardly anyone lives their own life anymore. Advertising has everyone chasing after the next best thing like its going to be the product that will automatically make their life better. I pulled a chair over to the window so I could sit and look out of my apartment building into the windows of the skyscrapers around me.
         I could see a light on in one window. A man was sitting at his desk typing on a computer. From the look on his face he didn't look too happy. Then his phone must have rang because he started to fumble through a stack of papers on his desk. He pulled out a cell phone and answered it. He talked while he held his head up with his hand. Then he reached for a picture and started at it. A picture of his family. Or maybe his Girlfriend or lover. He was working late. His family wanted him home. But he had to work to pay for expenses. Food, bills, heat. This was this mans life story. Working to provide for whoever he needed to. And there was always the chance that you could die anytime and leave your story without an ending. My story was different. There was no way I could be considered perfect. I have murdered. I have helped murder. I've destroyed lives and families. I once lived as a consumer. I would spend hard earned money on useless products that TV and advertising had everyone chasing. But I woke up. Once the debt had build up I knew I was doing the wrong thing.
         I learned to live without possessions. I even convinced people to live like me. A kind of cult if you will. We fought back. We raided and burned shopping malls regularly. We weren't trying to hurt anyone. We were trying to set them free. The gun feels cold in my hand. I sit in a chair and look out the window as I set the gun on a nearby table. I reach into my pocket and pull out a pack of cigarette. I put one in my mouth and light it. Inhale and exhale. The smoke rises from the cherry and floats around my head. One bad habit I could never ignore. The prices of cigarettes never got in my way. I would spend my life for one last pack. Even when I try to save people I still become a victim of commercialism.
         I look at the window at another building. A hotel. A man is in his room with a prostitute. No doubt cheating on his wife. It's too hard for people to be honest now days. There is something in people that just makes them want to be dishonest. Some people can control it but most do it out of impulse. They just can't control themselves. Maybe their just out around town and see someone that interests them. Perhaps at a bar or somewhere similar. Well maybe that's as far as it will go. But that person might come over and begin a conversation. The next thing they know their pants are at their ankles in a bedroom or somewhere more degrading.
         Cheater. Liar. It can't be helped with some people. It seems people make it their goal to cheat and ruin relationships or lie to people. There is no such thing as honesty anymore. Every lie is just another form of truth it seems. The man and the hooker roll around on the bed of the hotel room. His shirt comes off and flies across the room. Followed by her shirt exposing her bare breasts. I close the blinds on my window and walk over to my desk. I sit in my chair and bury my face in my hands.
         I taste salt in my mouth, a tear, which had rolled down my cheek. Why was I crying? Had I become so angry at society that it had actually made me sad? Or was it something else. My eyes wander around the room. It was completely silent. The only sound was the raging storm outside. Soft thunder in the air and the sound of rain pelting the windows. Blue flashes of light projected on the walls from the lightning through the blinds. My eyes wandered back to my desk and then stopped. They were focused on a picture. My family.
         A wife. . .a son. . .a daughter. The only things that seemed real to me anymore. Were they real? Was anything real? I remember seeing them this morning. My wife. Lying in bed next to me. The sun shining through the window on to her golden blonde hair. It almost seemed like her hair was glowing from the rays of sunlight. Her white skin so elegant in the bright sunlight. Oh how the times have changed. We used to be so in love. Everyday when I would wake up and see my wife it would seem like the first time, every time. She has always been so beautiful. So why couldn't I see it anymore? Was there something wrong with her? Was there something wrong with me? I shook the notion out of my head. No, there was nothing wrong with either of us. It was society. Society was doing this to me. I used to be happy. My family used to be happy.
         I remembered the last time we sat together as a family. At the dinner table two nights ago. We had our usual Friday night dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans. My wife sat directly across the table from me and the two kids sat on either side. I stabbed some green beans onto my fork and put them in my mouth to chew. I never liked green beans but I would never tell my wife that. I could have been more honest with my wife, this I knew. Our son sat stirring his green beans into his mashed potatoes. It was obvious he liked them just as much as I did.
         "Eat your green beans." I said to him. Hypocrite. It was the only word that could come to my mind. How could I sit there and tell my son to eat something that I didn't even like to eat myself. Would he find out and hate me for it? These were common thoughts for me. The thoughts of a bad father, a bad husband. My son started to eat his green beans like I told him and I looked across the table at my wife. She was quietly cutting into her chicken breast on her plate and eating with elegant manners. She had always been so proper. I was kind of a slob when we met all those years ago. I remember sitting at the table that night and wondering how she could ever fall for someone like me. There was also something else I remember about that night. It was the first night I discovered her true feelings.
         I sat down at my desk and picked up the picture of my family. I stared at my wife in the picture and ran my finger down her face. The face of my love. The face of my betrayer. A single tear fell on to the glass of the picture frame and I wiped it away. Recently I had learned that she was cheating on me. I had assumed that she was cheating when she was out for long days. She seemed depressed lately and I found a man's business card by her purse one day. I automatically knew what it was. She was unhappy with me. She was finding someone else to satisfy her. I couldn't give her what she wanted. After that I could never look at her the same way again. Every time she came home late I knew what she was doing. She had always been a quiet person who kept personal things to her self and I doubt she would come out and tell me she was cheating.
         She always had the same excuses. That she was out at an appointment. Liar, I knew what it really was. Maybe it happened at a bar one night. She stopped in after work for a drink to get away from me for a couple hours. The business man must have seen her from across the bar and bought her a drink. Not wanting to be rude the liar would have accepted it. He would tell her that he was a psychologist like his card said and that would probably be enough to do it right there. Was it the fact that he was a doctor? She must find him much sexier because of that fact.
         I looked around my office and could only wonder how she ever found me to her liking. Scattered papers from what I was working on tonight and the dark of the night shrouding and hiding the room. Complete darkness aside from the lights of the raging storm. Another bolt of lighting struck in the distance. The room was pitch black otherwise. Just like my heart. Like the thoughts in my mind. I needed freedom from this torture. I have a wife who doesn't love me anymore, my children who resent me for being a bad father. Not once had I made it to my daughter's concerts or my son's baseball games. I didn't even know their middle names. I truly was a bad human being. I needed escape. I needed to leave. Call it running if you want. If that's what I was doing then so be it. I needed to run.
         I stood up from my desk and walked towards the large window in my office. Most people would kill for a view like this at their job. Now I'm wondering it was a really good idea. I grabbed my chair from my desk and wheeled it to the middle of the room. I pulled my computer monitor and tower from my desk and put them on the chair. It was all clear now. I knew what to do. I ran and rolled the chair in front of me and headed straight for the window. When I was close enough to the window I pushed the chair ahead of me and it crashed through the glass. Immediately the air was full of cold wind and water and shards of sparking glass. Another bolt of lighting struck and the light reflected of the glass shards in the air. I took one step closer to the window. Freedom. I took one more step towards the window. Escape. I took another step towards the shattered glass. Run. I was standing at the edge now. Water from the storm beat against my face and felt cold against my warm sweat soaked skin. The cold air felt liberating due to the high emotions I had been dealing with. The storm raged with a fury right in front of me and I looked down towards the road. Cars driving around looked like ants. I was almost there. Just one more step. One more step to freedom, one more step to escape, one more step to run. I took one more step.
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