This is how you die. You look up and the apartment’s dark. You go into the kitchen and turn on the light. You don’t recognize your kitchen. You say, huh, even though there’s no one there to respond. You’re barefoot and your feet are cold, and they’ve been cold all day, and they will always be cold. It’s dark and you haven’t yet gotten the mail in. At least you don’t remember getting the mail. You walk out in the hall, still barefoot, and go down the wooden stairs, along the scratched and gouged painted walls, and think that you would be embarrassed by the hallway if anyone visited you. But no one visits you. You go out on the porch. There is not mail. There wasn’t any mail yesterday, either. You go back upstairs. You light a cigarette, place it on the edge of the ashtray, and get a can of beer out of the refrigerator. You still don’t recognize your own kitchen, but it’s a kitchen so you know where things are supposed to go. Where they’ll be. You place the can of beer on the kitchen table, quietly. It clinks against the wood. As a matter of fact, you do everything quietly. Out of respect for the dead. You. The tiny creaks of your chair when you reach for your beer. One creak. Two creaks. Your breath. Your cigarette has gone out so you relight it. You look at your lighter and wonder who will get it when you’re dead. You wish you could take your lighter with you when you die. You stroke your beard and can’t remember when you last shaved. And you wonder who will get your razor. It’s an old-fashioned double-edge razor that reminds you of your dead father. You wish you could take your razor with you, too. When you die. It’s 6:03 p.m. and time has passed and it’s darker and you hear the subway, but you have nowhere to go. You haven’t been out of the apartment in days. You wait for the time to go to bed. You read a book. You think about smoking another cigarette but decide not to. You decide to save it for later. Which is in the future. Which means you’re not dead. Yet. A frozen pizza in the oven. Rain taps at the window.
This is how you die. @ellowrites @ellowriting #fiction