Guns don't kill people ... people kill themselves
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Man, are we getting old. Life is serious, repetitive, boring, draining, awful. Stuck with our dreaded partners, wishing we weren't. Remember, when we couldn't stand each other anymore? We kept on not standing each other. And finally ... we had a baby ... yeah ... it reinvigorated a loveless home. God, that screaming baby ... it sucked out everything that was left from our vitality. Suddenly we cannot look at the same thing ... let alone each other's faces ... except for the time of an empty sex ... empty birthday sex. We got a dog. Dogs are awesome ... full of love and no crying ... unlike ourselves ... sobbing at three in the morning. But a dog cannot make up for the bitter despair ... that is being human with feelings, desires ... grey hair on a 30 year old scalp. The diaper-filling baby and a smelly dog and a life long partner whose hair clogs the sink. We get another dog, so the first dog has someone to play with and someone to love. We don't have enough love to spare the dog, except on Christmas, when we give him a bone. A real bone. A cow bone ... filled with extra bone marrow ... so that it tastes like real cow.
Why did we keep a loaded gun in our room? How did it ever get suggested? Did my father put it in the closet ... When moved to a separate house? And when did I first notice it? Why are those pistols so damn beautiful? Why didn't either of us notice the peculiarity ... the absurdity of a tool of murder so close? Why did it seem so normal? Why was it a shiny silver polish when everyone knows a man uses a chrome finish, not that faggy ass shiny shit ... I mean really?
We are all dead ... dead couples. We underestimate the malaise that seeps in our blood while we sign contracts and count the stars. Those points that reflect their light onto the lake shore and touch our eyes with dead sparks. We sort through our baseball cards and elementary school photos. We decide to invite our close friends over more often, so we can swim in each other's malaise. We fear spending those winter nights, shut in and alone with a drooling baby and bored puppies. We are amused by our friends. Friends being better than no friends. Friends are cool though they are people after all and predictable. The dogs are more spontaneous than Bill or Amanda. We play assassins, it gets tedious, we share our problems, it gets uncomfortable, we BBQ food, we get fat. We don't want our friends over any more and we invent creative excuses. Poker night gets cancelled again and again.
Did you hate me as much as I despised you? When I slept at night and stared at your greasy face and its terrible complexion, did you realise I was judging you, hating your clogged pores and blemished cheeks? Did you do the same while I slept? When I woke you up with my colossal snoring? I doubt you could have disliked me more than I did to you, but you did try ... didn't you?
We invite our work mates over. We invite the neighbours down the street ... not from next door. We are all beige faced pimps with finger prints. It's easier to say crazy things and propose obscenities with people whose nick names you don't even know. You can stare at her breasts for one too many seconds, or say a joke that no one should laugh at ... but we do ... for a long time. For the first time in emotional adulthood, we are energized, we are aroused, we want to be children on the first day of school ... but with condoms in our pockets.
That night we talked about those guns in the closet, our friends telling us about theirs, did you feel as eerie as I did? Did you shiver at the thought of a murder contraption underneath the Christmas themed table cloths? Was there even a little tenderness between us that we worried about an accident, even just a little, despite how much we utterly hated each other?
That semi-quality time together exchanging spicy glances. Desperately bored friends blurring the borders between the friend and object ... those 40 year old nipples you think about in the shower. Gags and locker room fun in your carpeted living room. In the short distance ahead of us, we wonder if anyone will actually propose it and take off their pants. Everyone thinks about it, no one knows how they will react, we desperately want the chance, but no one ever gets drunk enough to do it.
Did we care so little for each other that we wouldn't even notice if one was missing from bed? Why did you go downstairs? Did you need a couple shots of Scotch to get you back to sleep? Were you burning with desire from our total lack of marital coitus? That noise you made ... did you trip over the dogs?
These nights alone in this giant bed are lonesome and long. The dog sleeps at my feet and the baby cries more than ever before. I still hate you even though there's nothing to hate. I still see your imprint in the bed and it makes me cringe. Your presence is everywhere in the house. Your expensive make-up. Your silicone oven mitts. Your DVDs of CSI. I want to throw it all out but I feel responsible. It will stay there until someone new comes into my life. Someone I can loathe as much as I did you. I am so old now. The dog is old. The baby can walk. Even if you were here, there would be nothing that could give new meaning to us. Or to myself. I need to have a cigarette. Alone on the patio. Smoking while the minutes tick on.