With the force of a truncheon being struck to the side of a vagrants face I slammed the car into gear and shuddered my way into the street. When the hell did my life become this mess again? I made steps to leave all this behind me and finally make a life I could live out in the open rather than down dark alleys and in smokey clubs. All that changed when the phone rang, when by the sound of a rattling bell my life was turned upside down and thrown into a black tangle of frustration, doubt, and anger. I’m needed “one last time” and they are willing to do what they need to in order to secure that. I struggle in my jacket for my cigarettes and find one last crinkled beauty. Sparks fly into the darkness and flame rises from the lighter. Holding it inches from the cigarette I catch the site of myself in the rear-view mirror and am startled at how much this face doesn’t seem to be my own anymore. This thought scares me more than I’d like to acknowledge so I look away and place the flame at the tip and inhale. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve had one of these so as the smoke floods my lungs they catch and hitch a bit. It always seems to feel like the first time, I feel like I’m going to burn up and my head goes light, I love it. I venture one last look in the mirror and then let go of the trigger. Blackness again, just how it should start with what I have to do, my conscience always had night blindness and for the first time I thank god for that.



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