The following is a short story. Is it based on real events or pure fiction? I’ll leave that to you to decide. Its the second in a series that I hope to collect into a short book.

It’s 9:55 on a Friday Night.

I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks busting my ass to get a ton of projects and things done, and all I have to show for it in a tangible sense right now is a pounding headache and this incredible need to sleep.

I’ve spent the day working at my full-time job and came home on a train filled with people who only seem to want to eat, shit, and breath as they trudge on to whatever goddamn thing they call a “life”. I’ve found not using the words “life” and “existence” makes it a lot less personal and takes a lot of the humanity out of what is, in essence, the same phase. So I guess its only fitting to say that the people I’m surrounded with need an existence, because they sure as hell don’t even have a life.

I spend my night looking at my bills, wondering how the hell I’m going to pay them like so many of my fellow American’s on this too-damn-cold-for-July Summer Night. I listen to Rancid on a boom box that looks like its been through hell and is older than some kids who decided to make fun of me for how I look today. I order a pizza, my dinner for the next week, and drink directly from a 2-Liter of Sprite. Deadlines are looming over my head as I’m left to ponder what, exactly, this existence means.

The guitars and bass of “Damnation” drown through my house. While I need it rather loud next to me, the sound rattles through the rest of the house and down the hallway clear as a bell. The old boom box works as bad as ever. You need a boom box to listen to punk, especially something that’s already ratty and beaten to hell as it is. It makes it more real, more human. It makes you feel alive.

As I eat my pizza, the crust just crispy and puffy enough as I like it, the pepperoni cracking as I take a bite from it as the carbonation of the soda tickles me like a long lost lover meeting her mate, I read the works of Frank Miller. I’ve read nearly all his work on Batman, and it was a ton of fun reading him take Batman past Year One and to a time where the tales that will unfold in The Dark Knight Strikes Back is still decades away. The book makes me feel like I’m 10 again and I run around my empty house like it.

I take a quick break and turn on the flat screen TV and throw on Sonic the Hedgehog and then Starfox to breeze through some levels just to laugh at how much fun it is again. The house is slightly moist and I still don’t know. But right now, it doesn’t matter. I ignore, no, forget that the reality of the world is that I exist simply to work and pay my bills and live in a nightmarish hell where I’m forced to deal with people with room temperature in winter I.Q.’s in a burg that seems to have forgotten that creativity and free expression are ways of life.

No, tonight I’m home alone with soda and pizza, video games and punk rock.

Tonight, I’m alive. And it’s feels pretty damn good to be alive!

Larry West
Larry West - Larry West is a Philadelphia Artist who specializes in classic pen and ink drawings, digital designing, photography, and more. His inspirations comes from exploring the occult, the macabre, and examining the taboos in contemporary society by portraying them in a different light. Larry’s credits include illustrations for the band Wednesday 13, Mikimoto jewelry, and the Admiral Theatre. His photography was published in Rolling Stone Magazine and Philadelphia Weekly.
Posted in Short Stories