by Notty Bumbo, 2015
All night he lays there, semi-reclined, unable to avoid the clock ticking, the refrigerator's low hum, a drip from some faucet somewhere, two dogs at opposite ends of the block lunging at imagined racoons, the freeway's three-AM moan and whine at the back of his head. He goes through the usual litany of impending disasters about to happen, the gas explosions like domino comedies, the alien invasion, the comet hurtling unrelenting toward the Pacific, the string of unrestrained earthquakes plowing the world to dust, the home invasion, the MERS outbreak, the runaway train, the collapse of his 200-year-old wood house due to hidden wood-boring insects, the stroke the heart attack the aneurism that waited for the right moment to deprive him even of reasonable irony. He shifts in the chair, aware of the lousy back, neck, bones slowly losing their calcium stability, his brain that just won't shut off, and that's when it finally hits him, how it will really happen, how death will finally kick in the door and take all that's left, rob him of even the satisfaction of some stupid and useless last words. Laying there, in the grip of insomnia's crunchy gloves, he sees clearly, though without the slightest surprise - because at least surprise would be something, would mean there was a value to such a death - he will in fact die of the one truly horrible offense against his dignity, worse than losing his mind in some hellish hospital somewhere, unloved and alone and in his own vomit and urine and excrement, worse that anything any horror movie can ever imagine.
He will die from boredom. And no one will even notice. The coroner will say heart attack, the obituary won't even cite that incorrect statistic. They won't even spell his name right, if they run it at all. He suddenly had an urge to go running, naked down the street, left onto Stewart, down the hill the ten blocks to the freeway, and play dodge-em with the midnight freeway speed-boys. He was sure he would be the winner, no matter how it ended.