Greetings and salutations, faithful followers of this blog! I’m Timothy S Purvis and THIS is another week of Story Time With Tim. An ongoing series where I share my writings both new and old in a bold attempt to gain a following for future releases. Many of these stories are available on my Kindle page as well as some select books over at SmashWords. I’ll post links below for those pages.
This work, however, has never been published. It was supposed to be an entry into an online contest. However, it never gained much traction. I still enjoy it though. Written in 2021, it’s all about one man who threatens suicide after failing to be successful in life.
Anyhow, thanks for reading and I’ll read to you all again next week!
IN MY OWN HEADSPACE
It’s easy to assume certain truths about life. That, as one gets older, everyone will naturally just be a friend. Or friendly. Or accepting. Or demonstrate even the most basic of kindnesses towards another human being. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, in my experience, it’s been the simple truth that most people are self-righteous ideologues who believe you should fit into what they think to be reality. That’s not always the case, of course. But it’s frequent enough to cause me all sorts of pains and annoyances.
As it stands, I’m not even sure that I feel like existing anymore. It’s so much of a nuisance, I just can’t even fathom the point. Everyday, I get up. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Go to work. Come home. Watch TV. Go to bed. And get up to start the cycle all over again. And for what? To pay the bills? Keep the heat on? Food in the fridge? What does it all mean, anyhow? What is the purpose of it all? I wish I could say, but, in all of my thirty four years of living, I’ve never discovered a deeper meaning outside of ‘support society, contribute to the community.’ Yet, every dollar spent goes to those who really don’t need any more wealth. A whole world’s economy developed to keep the rich, rich and the poor, poor.
Oh, sure, there’s the potential to strike gold in one’s personal affairs. But if the purpose is purely to make even more fortune, then there really isn’t much appealing in the dynamics to begin with. If the purpose of making that fortune is to build a family, then why is it so difficult to discover that one, true person who’ll always be honest with you? Always be at your side? Will love you unconditionally no matter what for as long as you both shall live? Why is it when you feel like you’ve found that one, true person (a soulmate, if you will), they inevitably, inexorably betray you for another? And their reasons given are because they ‘feel trapped’ or ‘it just isn’t working out the way I thought it would,’ and etcetera ad nauseum.
And the money.
It always comes back down to the money, doesn’t it? The pointless bid to personal wealth being the driving force in life. Without it, you’re nothing. You feel like nothing. They make you nothing. ‘You need a better job,’ ‘You’ve been saying we’re going to save yet you never do,’ and all the nitpicking diatribes one’s significant other is wont to drive you completely insane with.
It’s enough to make one want to toss one’s self over the edge of a tall building and plummet into the pavement far below. Such as the building upon which I stand. Up on the roof. Some twenty stories high. From here, I can see the lay of the city. The myriad buildings lining the streets running like a maze at ground level below. Headlights are already ignited to the fore of dozens of vehicles blithely going about their affairs as if life has always been this rut for the lonely and exhausted. The sky burns an orange red along the horizon. The light blue above me fading as the sun approaches its final farewell of the day. A warm wind blows with vigor all around me and I can’t help but let my gaze fall down to the sidewalks twenty levels down. Inviting me to lean over, tempting me to open my arms wide and accept the embrace of an oblivion possibly well deserved yet eager for my loving touch just the same. More so than Marcy, who turned away and-
“What the hell are you doing leaning over the railing like that?”
I slowly push away from the double bars holding me back from that oblivion. I turn with a sigh. Not a loud one, certainly not audible enough for him to hear. And, of course, there he is, right outside the doorway leading to the single flight of stairs stretching down to the ostensible final floor of this highrise downtown. An old, gritty structure built back in the forties. Almost as dilapidated looking as Heath. A burnt out, chubby man of forty two who’s seen too many days of multiple six packs and cartons of cigarettes. His plain button up shirt showing splotches of darkness across portions of the brown coloring. The denim jacket falling over his shoulders looking a little worse for the wear. Where the shirt is unbuttoned along his waistline, I can see that his black pants are unzipped.
“Just enjoying the view, my man. What brings you up here? Doxx run out of reruns for ya?”
I try on a smile. But the unkempt face and beady black eyes of Heath merely glare at me as if I was putting one over on him. Honestly, maybe I am. He’s not exactly the best friend I’ve ever had, but he’s been there. Been a constant presence in my life. Even if it has gone off the rails a bit lately. The breeze lazily fluffs the curly, brown hairs up on his pate. He’s starting to bald. His mouth opens. He’s lost another tooth. Heath never was a fan of the dentist.
“There’s enough to watch on the locals. Doxx ain’t the only station in town.” He takes a step away from the door letting it slam back into its frame. The tension spring on it had given up the ghost years ago. “Ran into Donna. Said she saw this sad excuse of a skinny white boy walkin up to the roof with a serious look in his eyes. Said, ‘Can’t be Ellis. We already conversated about all of this.’ And yet, here yer ass is. Hanging over the edge of the building like a vulture ready to swoop down on a carcass along the roadway. You ain’t back on that none, now is ya?”
I let a small smile crease my face as I looked back at him. My mouth cracked open as snark was on my tongue ready to reply. Yet, my eyesight drifted to the roof floor. My slick smile already fading from sight. Whatever quip I was going to make flew from my mind. Whatever lie I was about to spin was irrelevant now, wasn’t it? The sad truth was, yes, I was back on it all. Because it was still a raw emotion driving me from sanity. My gaze fell over the cityscape once more.
“Regrettably, Marcy has finally gone and done it. Taken off with that Freeman fellow. I thought I could change her mind. However, she kept saying I would never amount to nothing. That there just wasn’t a future there. I wasn’t who she thought I was. Yadda, yadda, yadda. And… there’s so much else just… wrong. I don’t know. It’s like every thought is twisted and alien. My skin feels all wrong. Everything just feels so… pointless.”
Heath doesn’t sigh. Not in any meaningful way. He’s as he always is: dispassionate. Cold even. “Hate to hear it, El. However, screw her. Bitch ain’t worth the effort. Never was. Told you that before. Yet, ya kept trying to convince a badger to sleep with a rabbit. And only one of ‘em has a hunger for flesh. She done ate you up good, buddy. Should just let all of that go.”
Heath will never understand. I give him the old lines. Maybe even fool myself a little in the process. Marcy left months ago. I’ve been trying to pull myself together ever since. Go to work. Come home. Kill the pain. Get back up. Find new pain to fill my existence. A never ending cycle with no true beginning and no true ending. The truth is, I’m tired of everything. Exhausted maintaining the illusion that everything is just fine in my life. There is only this deep void inside. It’s engulfing my heart, suffocating my lungs, crippling my mind. And every thought I have had over the last several weeks has been: If only I could fly.
“You’re right. Letting it all go is probably the only rational answer to this conundrum,” I say feeling the frown cross the crease of my mouth. It feels hard, that frown. Not even looking out over the cityscape makes the choking pain at the back of my throat go away. The tightening of my jaw doesn’t make it any better. “You ever wanted to just fly away? Fly away from every single problem plaguing simple existence? I’m just so tired. None of it makes sense anymore…”
Now there is a sigh from Heath. A deep, heated one. “I ain’t getting into this with you again. What are you expecting from me?”
I turn my head in surprise towards him. He’s got his arms dangling at his sides and his mouth is downturned. It’s a struggle for a moment to answer this suddenly insidious statement. The tone one of not so much indifference, but rather one saturated in weariness. “I don’t want anything. Maybe, I was just thinking a friendly ear might help.”
“Well, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I ain’t nearly as friendly as you seem to suspect. You think you’re the only one with problems?”
“I never said anything of the sort, Heath.”
“No, but you whine enough ‘bout ‘em. Old Rita on the first floor, she’s got a real bad and terminal case of cancer. Hear her ever croakin’ on about it? Nope. Cause she’s stayin’ positive. She’s putting her best foot forward and not beggin’ for sympathy,” I can feel my brow creasing as he speaks these words. Cruelly, viciously. “Jackson up on fifth, he’s got himself a nasty crack habit. Keeps trying to get clean. Keeps fallin’ off the wagon. Terry down on second: her old man is too busy drinkin’ away his paycheck and visitin’ the whores down on main to bother with the kids. Certainly, he ain’t touched her in years now. And me, I ain’t all smiles and chuckles myself. However, I’ve been on unemployment for the last six months six that nasty little incident with a forklift and the dead kid who drove it into me. Every single one of us has a reason to toss ourselves over the edge. And maybe one day one of us will actually do it. But, you ain’t gonna find the lot of us bitchin’ and moanin’ ‘bout how unfair life is. It is unfair. Always has been, always will be.”
I grit my teeth. I want to scream. Yell at this man that, yes, of course others feel pain. Of course others experience misery and some are better off than others and don’t know it. However, we all approach those difficulties in various ways. Yet, how hard is it to just listen for a moment? Take a moment to have some sort of compassion? These are the things I’m talking about! The hate, the rage, the discompassionate lot of humanity that surrounds us and refuses to show even a modicum of decency when given the chance. No, in their own way, in Heath’s own way, it’s only another way to bitch. But the bitchin’ being done, as they so kindly consider it, is that of not wanting to listen to someone’s else’s suffering. Because all anyone cares about are themselves. And no one else.
“Honestly, Heath, I didn’t even ask you to come up here. Maybe I would’ve taken the plunge and then you wouldn’t have to worry about listening to all the sob stories I have to tell. But it would be nice if once, just once, someone actually gave a shit and lent their ear if only for a minute.”
Heath lets loose a snicker. He actually snickers. A cockneyed grin tugging at the corner of his lips. “Mate, I have some advice that might be good for you to hear: I ain’t talkin’ you away from that ledge. You got enough of your own reasons to do it. As do the rest of us. But if you do decide to take the plunge, do us a favor, eh? Take the alleyway route. I got an appointment with a barfly over on east end and I don’t need your mess holding me up. Either on the steps or via the bobbies you’re like to draw our way. Okay? Make it quick. Make it clean. Make a decision one way or another. It’s gettin’ to be a pain in the ass.”
Heath turns then and walks back to the doorway, opens it up, steps through and disappears. Never once does he look back to see if I have any further response. Maybe the look of shock on my face was enough. Maybe he enjoyed that just fine.
Make a decision he says. Fine. I will. I’ll make the decision all right. It’s just one more proof that those around me couldn’t care any less if I were still here or not. I’m just one more parasite drawing their precious oxygen away from them. The sense that my cheeks are growing red is strong. I turn back to the edge of the building and step up on the knee high brick wall gripping the railing ringing it all the way around the roof. My hands find the bracing of an antenna rising high above me. I step over the railing and stare down into the abyss of concrete, sidewalk, and disparate trash and debris littering the ground. I grip the antenna rod tightly and tears rush down my cheeks. I feel my chest hitching and the sounds falling out of my mouth are that of a blathering wail. My knees rack each other as I hover over the edge ready to send myself down. Anything is better than this continual turmoil and torment. Friends, lovers, coworkers… the random stranger. All look at me as if I’m some itinerant wastrel unworthy of any sort of response or compassion.
I let my grip tighten on the antenna post as I lean over the edge. I see the streets below. The light has grown a darker orange over on the horizon as the sky above has darkened significantly. The warm air now has a chill on it as my tears fall downward towards the streets.
I should just let go. Sure. Do it over the alley, Heath says. No. I think I’ll let them deal with the inconvenience of stepping over my corpse. One last measure of revenge, perhaps.
I swallow hard and draw back towards the post. I enwrap my body around the soft aluminum that really shouldn’t be holding my weight but has yet to give. I stare out over the darkening skyline, my cheeks burning with the cool tears. The heaving of my body settles and a calming thought grows firmer in my head.
Maybe I should take a walk.
A very long walk. Somewhere very far from here. I’ve always wanted to go out west. See the Red Firs and the redwoods rising high into the sky. Walk down the coastline. See the north. I don’t know. Living here… it’s only filling me with the depression of irrelevance. Perhaps there is a decision to be made and it doesn’t involve a building and people who really couldn’t care any less.
I grab the railing and lift my legs back over it and reclaim my former position on the rooftop. Then head back down to my apartment. I return to my gloomy, claustrophobic domicile. I throw only the things I really want to take with me into a knapsack and head out the front door. I have money in the back. I have savings in my bag. The open road lies ahead of me. If they don’t want me, then I don’t want them. I don’t think I’ll even bother informing the landlord. Let him evict me and throw away the crap I’ve accumulated over the years. Let them wonder where I’ve gone and when I’ll be back. Let them grow concerned over whether or not I’m lying dead in a ditch or murdered by the river. Let them say, ‘he was always a likeable enough person. I’m going to miss him…’
Who am I kidding?
There won’t even be an official inquiry as to what happened to me. Just one more lost soul disappeared from the misery of existence. Easily discarded. Easily dismissed. Quickly forgotten. A phantom that only existed in his own headspace. So be it.
I don’t want them to remember me anyway.
Thanks for reading and hope you had fun! There will be more to come next week! Until then, have a good week!
~Timothy S Purvis
Amazon Kindle Author’s Page–> Timothy S Purvis
Smashwords Author’s Page–> Timothy S Purvis
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION STARTS!
I would appreciate if you have Kindle or even if you want some paperback goodies if you’d head on over to my page and maybe show me some love there. I mean, if you’ve been reading a while and see something you like, wouldn’t you like to have it in your personal library? I have some cool short stories available for cheap. Also Tales From A Strange Mind that collects my short stories (there’s also a Kindle edition but, for some reason, Amazon wouldn’t let me link them together) , Tales From A Strange Mind II which collects my old novellas, Red Star Sheriff (Which also has a Kindle edition but Amazon, am I right?) my first novel ever released, though, yes, it does have some grammatical errors and drags on for way too long, sigh. But I still love it and I will be writing a follow up sometime within the next few years. I have a collection of my poems called MisAligned: The Heart Waxes Poetic which collects my old poems but not some of my newer ones included those flash fictions! I’ll probably do that in the future as well. And if you love the perfectly inane, why not check out my Star Cloud scripts presented in book form? Star Cloud The Original Scripts. Another one where Amazon was being difficult with me in connecting the Kindle and PB versions. Still, the paperback they let me sale for cheap and it’s well worth a look if I say so myself. Or, if you don’t want to click on individual links (all of which will take you to my author’s page anyway), just click on my author’s page directly by tapping my name: Timothy S Purvis See for yourself what all I’ve published since I began this venture in 2016.
I mean, if you like my work, of course. No pressure. Just trying to find my way in this world without working menial tasks and suffering physical and mental issues as a result. If only I could merely stay home and write. That would be my most epic fantasy brought to life. Well, if you don’t want to do that, you could also donate to my cause down below after all is said and done. It would help. You know, if you liked what you saw and all. Up to you. I don’t have a lot of reviews on my materials because of low sales. I mean, very, very low sales. In the single digits. Right now, I have to rely on Pubby for reviews and those people only read your synopsis and recap it for a five star review. I want honest opinions. Not mean ones, but honest. So, if you ever find yourself buying some of my work, I’d certainly appreciate some feedback. Again, up to you.
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