Saturday 20 August 2011

#Fridayflash: Living is simple

Living is simple.
The floating lyric echoed itself in his head. Was it really? He stood on a precipice.

Twenty floors below him, the people seemed to crawl like ants on the sidewalk, bustling about their unknown business. What would they do if he came down among them like a bolt from the grey? Would they run about screaming? Would they be disgusted at the mess? Would they wonder if he had blown in from a stray cloud? He hated the rain. It was cold, wet and depressing.

The strong winds whipped a gust of spray into his face. He stepped back from the balcony railing. A step forward was all it would take for a shot at the next life, if that was open to him.

Living is simple.
It was dying which was hard. The when, where and how was more than he could take. It pounded in his brain, making it hard to concentrate on anything else. Everything he had considered would be too messy, too disturbing for everyone he left behind. If they took the time to bother. That was moot at this point.

His apartment was stark, bare. He sat down on the starchy couch and stared at his peeling fingers. The detergent he used was too corrosive and he had used too much of it, but he wanted everything to be neat and clean when they found him. It seemed now that everything would be except him.

And that was the problem.

Living is simple.
It sure was simpler than trying to die. You didn’t have to think much, living. Living was just carrying on - putting one foot in front of the other, watching time slip away. Living was waiting for the crushing, like the way his car had broken down yesterday, like the gimp knee he had that made him limp, like the smile he had given Kerrie when she had walked out. It didn’t require much effort. It just was.

He walked out to the balcony again, watching the slow stream of red and yellow lights below through the thickening downpour. The north wind blew and he turned to close the glass door behind him, determined that his hard work would not go to waste. He shivered as his soaked clothes clung to his skin. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Living is dying.

I didn't exactly start out to write such a depressing piece based on a random line from a Switchfoot song. It just happened.
Switchfoot stuff is generally very hopeful, in case you didn't know. This song is actually quite a nice one. Not depressing at all. It talks about mercy. And choices remaining, like second chances.
I should not take song lines out of context. Sorry.


  1. I found it quite intriguing. Good work.

  2. Hi there - it's my first time at your place !
    I love the candid reflection on the supposed simplicity in living ... though it also seems as if your character is trying to convince himself that it is as simple as ABC ...

  3. An interesting POV. I wrote a novella based on a line from a Concrete Blonde song. Music is great for that.

  4. A very depressing piece! Like the line: Living is dying.