Walking into the Sunset

I could hear the birds chirping in the trees. I could hear the children playing along the city streets. Somewhere, there was a wife telling her husband the truth, while at the same time the husband was saying she was a good cook. I close my eyes, and they’re all there. They watch me from a distance, beckoning me to join them.

But I continue to walk alone. Step by step, I make my way down the dirt path of some playground ten miles east of Memphis, TN. No one’s beckoning. If anything, they’re backing away, whispering to each other “He’s a bad, bad man.” I’m only a walking stereotype. White and skinny, black trench coat and gun. All exposed for the world to see, but my path of destruction will leave a terrible wake.

I wish my car hadn’t run out of gas. I wanted to escape everything, but I could only make it so far. Maybe I should’ve taken some money from the kitchen while I was at it. They say running away is never easy. For once, maybe they were right. I should’ve planned; I should’ve decided what I was doing to do instead of just –

Then again, maybe it’s for the best. It’ll all be over at sunset.

I see the trees – bare – not a bird singing. I see the children staring in horror, some of them running, screaming. Mommy and daddy are still at work, but they’ll be here soon. They’ll all see the pain I feel, I’ll show them all…I’ll show them all.

I take a seat inside a jungle gym, waiting for the right moment. Things are the way they are I guess. We’re all born to die, some sooner than others. But I bear a burden that no one will ever know. The doctors say I’m just delusional, and that the pills should set me right. Who are they to call something “right?” Those pills…those damn pills make me someone else, someone prone to sitting and staring and not saying. I don’t care anymore; I’d rather suffer all that I have everyday than suffer from nothing at all. I’d rather die living than die without a passing word.

Suddenly I hear sirens. First one, than an army. Choppers begin to circle like vultures stalking prey. I hear someone speaking in the distance, but it’s garbled gibberish falling upon deaf ears. Armed men begin to advance upon me, guns pointed, eyes threatening behind placid goggles.

Swat teams, choppers, cars, guns, policemen – all sent to stop a man in a black trench coat with a gun standing in a jungle gym. I’d rather die living; I’d rather have a choice. I point my gun at my adversary.

Their advance halts immediately; even the choppers seem a little more silent. Here I am, caged, but not trapped. Maybe there’s been some misunderstanding, maybe they don’t know who I am. More gibberish passes by my ears. It sounds calmer, but very naďve.

I close my eyes. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Why must Nature pick and chose who is blessed and who is cursed. Is she blind? I wish I could’ve come across some happier times. I wish I could’ve been one of the naďve ones. But, that’s just my luck.

I wanted to escape. I wish I could’ve driven west a little further. I wish there weren’t so many people around. But, it would’ve ended the same anyhow. I want to escape. Freedom is just a trigger pull –

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