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Flattened, Like A Pancake

He wandered out into the street

and laid down in the middle of it.

It was about midnight

and the man was drunk again.

This night was different though,

on this night,

he was hoping a truck would run over him,

and flatten him like a pancake.

He knew a few people would be bothered by his death,

but,

in a few months,

they’d move on.

They had their lives,

and their jobs,

and their dogs.

They didn’t need him here;

no one did.

He heard someone say once

that suicide was the most selfish thing someone could do.

After thinking about this for awhile,

he came to the conclusion,

that someone asking someone else to stay alive,

for their sake,

so they don’t suffer,

so they don’t cry,

so they don’t feel pain,

so they don’t have to deal,

with the death of a loved one,

that was actually,

the most selfish thing someone could do;

and that suicide wasn’t that selfish at all.

It was his life to live anyways,

not theirs.

He could do what he wanted to with it.

Living,

or

dying,

that was completely his choice.

He didn’t have an obligation to bear his suffering for the sake of someone else.

But someone asking him continue to suffer bravely,

for the mere fact,

that they didn’t want him to die,

because they were afraid of the few months of grief they’d feel,

that was what was monstrous.

That was what was evil.

That was truly selfish.

He didn’t owe his life to anyone.

It uniquely belonged to him.

And lately,

his suffering was almost unbearable.

So,

he got drunk,

and walked out to the road,

and with his hands behind his head,

and his legs cross,

he looked up at the stars,

and hoped the reaper would find him.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky,

and the stars were popping like diamonds in the infinite blackness.

It was beautiful.

He felt beautiful too,

as he laid there,

ready to die.

He smiled to himself,

and hummed a christmas carol.

He must’ve dozed off,

because he woke up disoriented.

Bright lights blinded his eyes,

and for a brief second,

he thought he was about to see heaven’s gate.

But,

it was the headlights of a police car,

not the bright lights of death.

When the police officers walked up to him,

tears rolled down his face.

“Shoot me!” he yelled at them.

“Shoot me!”

His arms were outstretched as if he was surrendering to them.

“I have a gun!” he yelled at them.

The two police officers drew their guns

and pointed them at him.

Through his cries,

He continued to shout at them,

“Kill me! Please! Kill me!”

They didn’t kill him,

suicide by police shooting had become too common these days.

They knew not to fire.

Instead,

they tackled him,

loaded him into their car,

and took him to the drunk tank.

There was a little window in the small room,

and he looked out it,

and at the stars,

as he laid on the cold cement floor,

with tears rolling down in his cheeks in a steady stream.


-C.H.

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