They say it's lonely in the desert. The endless sand spans before your eyes in every direction, with nothing but a shimmering haze to break the vista. Any tracks of the camel's plod are swiftly removed by the biting wind, and so the trail of the nomad, the only(more) other person or persons for hundreds, nay thousands of miles, is obliterated.
The oasis. Lifeblood of the driest place. It should connect you to life again. It should put you in mind of other places where flowing water is normality and contact with humanity is restored. Instead you sit, your thirst momentarily quenched, looking out on the ocean of dust and knowing that on this small island you still float alone.
Perhaps a real island amidst the roaring tide would be lonelier still. The sea taunting you with its laughing lap of the shore, reminding you each day that there is no escape from its grasp.
Alas, I know a lonelier place still. Amidst the smashing bottles and drunken laughter, amidst the thumping music and lively banter, amidst friend and stranger, foe and lover. I stand in a whirlwind of humanity, and yet I am alone.(less)
He twisted the silencer onto the end of the barrel. Then, squinting at the phone's screen, he adjusted for windage. The target was due at the podium in twenty six minutes.
He suddenly remembered a woman he worked with years ago, before he had become what he was now. Lon(more)g before he set up rifle nests on rooftops or within rooms having good views to the ground, the germ of the killer was there. This crazy woman, he had wanted to murder her ferociously, going so far as to brainstorm the following in his diary, back when keeping a diary wasn't a liability:
"3/15/1995-----How I intend to kill my coworker is more important than why. The why is foregone. The mantra "make it look like an accident" applies here. Could I poison her cigarettes? Her health is precarious. The LD50 of pure nicotine extract is 60 mg. A single cigarette contains about 3mg. So, LD100, lethal dose in 100% of people, would be 120 mg, or 40 cigarettes worth of nicotine, two packs worth, administered all at once. Her smoke-withered heart would go into flutters and spazz out. Flatline. But how to give dose? Also, the coroner could test for this. No.
What I really want to do is hit her in the head with a baseball bat. Not hard enough to cause real injury, just to enough to get my point across. But then the police would come, so, again no.
But planning is no crime so long as it stays fiction. How about inviting her to a big party where she finds herself the guest of honor? I would arrange balloons filled with cyanide gas to fall on her when she steps from outside and into the empty foyer. Sweet God, yes!"(less)
For the sake of not losing my job, I’ve decided to forego drinking at our annual company party. I’m known to be quite the wrecking ball when alcohol starts to course through my veins. I feel proud of this decision.
(more) “Where’s your beer?” Jeff asks.
“Sorry, I’m trying to get through the night,” I respond.
“You’re way too self-conscious. You need to lighten the hell up and have fun,”
“Fine, I’ll drink for the both of us,” Jeff says, as he tries to flag down a waiter for his sixth beer.
My decision to not drink is made easier by the fact that our company has planned this gathering on a Monday night. Strategically, this is to prevent booze hounds like Jeff from getting too wasted, as it is expected that everyone will show up to work in the morning.
I’m sitting by myself, and this makes me feel like a sober leper. I’m envious of those who know how to manage their drinking. I guess what they say is true. Happy people drink to become even happier.
I don’t recall ever having two or three drinks before settling up and going home. For me, admittedly, one drink has always led to another. And then another. Yet, I would take great offense if anyone tried to brand me with the lifelong label of being an alcoholic.
“Hello Curtis,” says Monica, the main lobby secretary, as she approaches my deserted table. Monica, a recently divorced redhead, is wearing a buttoned up white blouse with a black pinstripe skirt that runs just passed her knees.
“You need a drink sweetheart,” she says with a playful frown.
"Sure, just one," I say, as I wave my arm for the passing waitress.(less)