They built this house sometime in the late 1800s. We were never exactly sure. The alleyway was once a river. We witnessed it return to that state during a hard rain when I was a child. It smelled like sewage for the next few weeks.
I don’t go outside at night anymore. There are gang members and drug dealers that will stand in the middle of the street, even when my truck is coming towards them, daring me to hit them or stop so that they might assault me. You would think that with the condition of my truck they would realize that I’m not a rich person. Unfortunately, they don’t care. Their thoughts now cycle around the idea that there is no honor amongst thieves, even if the person they’re assaulting isn’t a thief. It’s assumed that we all are if we live here. There is a desperation that both binds us together and makes us afraid of each other. I can’t look at a man walking down the street in my neighborhood and not assume that he engages in wrongdoings. We’re imprisoned in this house.
I thought about joining the military, then realized that I’m not fit enough to do so and that they wouldn’t want me wasting their resources while I attempted to chisel myself out of the body I’d been in my whole life. Then I realized that I would be just another poor person crossing the seas and killing other poor people. The worst kind of corporately owned government pawn. We’re all pawns, but we don’t necessarily have to kill.
All I can do is sleep now. Every day feels like another day of warfare. Of fighting. I told Lauren I felt like I was waiting, but didn’t know when the waiting would stop. The war is with the calendar. The war is with the clock. As Thom Yorke crooned, “I’m not living, I’m just killing time.”