The man in the mirror

I look at my reflection, at the man staring back at me. The man I have become.

He is a stranger. No recognition there. I look away, pained. How did it come to this?

An impulse to break the mirror registers. Briefly. The truth, the sad truth is there is no way I am going to make it go away.

My fingers clasp tighter around the cold steel in my hand. I suppress emotion. A tear escapes my eye and slides down my cheek. A lump forms in my throat.

One more look in the mirror, as though it will grant me absolution for what I’m about to do. What needs to be done. It doesn’t. A part of me realizes that its partly my fault. That I am partly to blame.

If I’d been more understanding, less demanding… If. So many if’s float back and forth, but this is not the time. The time for that is long gone.

Actions will have to do the talking. I will not be held accountable for my actions.

They will understand. Circumstances forced me, have forced me to become the person I have become. I never asked to be this way. I certainly didn’t invite this… ask for it.

I leave the bathroom, a bundle of nerves and pick up the cylinder with remnants of tape on it. Tape that held in place a sticker that said, “Knock Out”. You’d think if they were going to sell you illegal substances they’d have some subtlety about them.

I’d wanted to take it up with the gentleman that had sold it to me, but I thought better of it. We were not friends. It was a transaction, not a social interaction. Pleasantries were not something we could share. No names were exchanged, “they just complicate things”. He’d said. I could see how.

I drive to a seedy part of town, to the horribly named, “Come N’ Chill” Motel. Those in the know call establishments such as this, “lodges”.

Chances are the clientele comprised mostly prostitutes and their customers. Or lovers avoiding prying eyes. Infidelity forces you to lower your standards.

A pain goes through my temple. I try to focus. Its probably tension. Panic, even.

I check in for one. The lady behind the counter eyes me suspiciously.
“You’re alone?” she asks, raising an eyebrow.

She has a cake of make up so thick I’m sure it contributes largely when she steps on a weighing scale.

I reply in the affirmative. For some reason she finds this amusing, She smiles.
“If you want company, you could pay for an arrangement.” She says this with a wink.

Is she propositioning me? The wink draws my attention to her eyes. You can mask so much with make up, but the eyes never lie. Hers say a lot.

There is some sadness concealed back there. I almost give in, if for nothing else, empathy.
Besides, what will I need money for after tonight?
And despite the layer of make up, she does hold some appeal.

But I need all the privacy I can get tonight. I don’t need any distractions.

I decline, “She will be joining me later.”

She smiles a knowing smile and hands me my room key.
“Too bad.” She calls out to my back as I walk away.

Too bad. Indeed. I will probably regret this. My life, it seems is filled with its fair share of regrets. Tonight’s will be my last.

I set my effects on the bed and wait.

The pounding in my head has gone down somewhat. It’s a dull throb. I hear a door open and shut. There is a lady’s voice. Her voice. Shortly afterwards, his follows. The voices rise. They seem to be exchanging words. And it is not friendly fire.

I draw no consolation from this. I guess I ought to, knowing that she is not happy, but somehow…nothing. I suppose I love her too much to want her to be miserable, and yet, it appears, I don’t love her enough to let go.

Pity.

The argument is over, the noise gone. I don’t want to think about what is going on behind that door.

I wait for a bit, then slip into the corridor, and place my ear on the door. The sound is muffled. But they’re speaking.

I hear her asking him whether he is serious about something. I don’t know what, nor do I care.

I wait a little longer and go get the gas cylinder and the Beretta M1951. I hold the gun in my hands for a while. Then I realize I can’t do this.

There will be too much noise. Fortunately I have a knife available.

I pick up the cylinder and the knife and then get to work…

Comments

comments

8 Comments

  • petesmama Reply November 7, 2007

    This is some eerie stuff! Part 3 already!

  • esquire of the mountain Reply November 7, 2007

    i like this…very good(you roll your eyes)no surprise there

  • scotchie Reply November 7, 2007

    kale I read the whole thing before I saw that it was fiction and I’m thinking “Ivan what in the world?”
    so there, it’s believable! Your fiction rocks!!

  • tumwijuke Reply November 8, 2007

    “You can mask so much with make up, but the eyes never lie. Hers say a lot.”

    Nice. Echoing Petesmama. Can’t wait for Part III.

  • Lesi Lesi Reply November 8, 2007

    The laughter chokes in my throat and comes out as a sob! Lol!

    What we hoped to be and what we have become, many times are two different things. And sometimes, i am not sure i like what i have become, so i can identify with the guy but hopefully not to the extent of that much hatred and losing touch with reality!!

    Way to go, Ivan!

  • soulchild Reply November 8, 2007

    Hmmm, nice. Will be back!

  • Mr. Back2Basics... Reply November 8, 2007

    [I wait a little longer and go get the gas cylinder and the Beretta M1951. I hold the gun in my hands for a while. Then I realize I can’t do this]

    Man, i think that was me next door…

    Bring on the noise Ai…

    I see, even PetesMom, and Tumwi are heavily waiting…

    i’m with ’em both

  • Tandra Reply November 8, 2007

    disturbing, Ai. u wanna talk??? ;;)

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