I am terminally tired of being sad. I've been sad for a full month, and I've exhausted the tricks I generally use to cheer myself up. They're not working. Were I still drinking, I would be drunk by now, not necessarily feeling any better, mind you, but at least not having the physical manifestations of deep sorrow. But I ain't gonna. Friends who suffer from mild to deep depression tell me that sleep is their panacea, their drug of choice. I wish I could sleep but that's eluding me. I get up at three in the morning, check emails knowing full well nothing will be there from her. Ridiculous. I spend hours revisiting us, looking for flaws, for clues, for anything offering relief. I watch HBO, porn, Laurel and Hardy at dawn. I stroke my cat, Junkie, who senses that not everything is hunky dory. I put stuff up on eBay. Guitars, amps, Stones autographs, backstage passes. I toy with the idea of listing an unpublished novel for sale. What's that worth? Say, two to three thousand hours of work, and that's being conservative. What's a writer's labor worth these days? Oh Gawd, I'm getting tired of my whining.
Alcoholics are sad people who drink. Depressives are sad people who don't.
Here's installment 12 of Wasted Miracles.
Colin ceased listening. He’d heard Joe’s master plan dozens of times, heard the refinements as Joe came up with them. He busied himself in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, mostly coffee mugs.
“I guarantee you, with all those assholes armed, in a week downtown is cleaned up. All we have to do is come afterwards with the dump trucks. Think about it. It’d solve all the problems. White flight? With all the assholes gone, the whites come back to the city, real estate values soar, tax base grows, we get regular trash pick up, they fix the potholes, maybe even the baseball team starts winning, who knows? I mean, there’d be some damage, you know, bullet holes and shit ‘cause most of these schmucks can’t aim worth a shit, I got personal experience in that area, but hell, so there’s a few broken windows, who cares? Point is, we’d save ourselves a shit load of problems.
“Guns,” he nodded his head. “That’s the ticket.” Joe lived in the city, a one-bedroom on the Southeast waterfront, complained about the crime and trash daily, made the reverse commute to his job with the Fairfax police.
“How’d they know it was a dealer?” Colin asked. “Couldn’t it have been just some guys? I mean, a gram of stuff, that’s not much.”
Joe the Cop warmed to the subject. “You gonna rob some guy, you don’t have to go into excess, you know? And if you’re gonna rob him, you take the dope. That’s like currency, better, even. And the shit they did to his face, that’s so he won’t be identified right away. Puts a little bit of scare into the street. A lot of those people are gonna be on the phone today, saying, ‘Hey, I’m alive. You alive?’ And then at some point, some guy won’t answer his phone, and the rest of them, they’ll get the point. It’s like, psychology, you know?”
Joe stood, walked to the leg machine, inspected it. “This is what you do for fun?”
Colin nodded. “Keeps me occupied.”
Joe ran his fingers along one of the 50-pound plates. “How does this work?”
He lowered himself into the bench, placed his legs against the sled, pushed. The weights shuddered very slightly but didn’t move. “Jesus! You actually enjoy this?”
He pushed again, got slightly red in the face. “So how much weight is there?”
Colin did a quick calculation. “Eight big plates, plus the sled. About 430 pounds, I guess.”
Joe shook his head. “Imagine that. Almost twice my weight...” He paused, looked around the room, seemed engaged for a moment in a minor argument with himself.
“You know, Colin, I’m not about to give you any advice, but this,” he made a gesture that encompassed the apartment and all its furnishings, “this is pretty shoddy. I mean, the walls are three different colors and it wasn’t done by a designer, right? Most of this stuff looks like it comes from a Salvation Army trash bin, like, even they couldn’t sell it. Whaddya do when you get a broad up here? Doesn’t this place scare ‘em away?” He shook his head again. “Sorry. It’s none of my business. Anyway, They’ll ID him. They know most of these guys, one ends up missing for a couple of days, somebody’ll notice.” He stood, adjusted an invisible crease on his formless pants, tucked his shirt in. “Gotta go. Going to be there tonight?”
Joe was out the door, pushed his face back into the room. “That’s forty-seven of them so far this year, dead bad guys, I mean. We might have a six-month record.”