Entry Seventy-eight: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[The next many entries are the current story I am working on. This is eight of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

With each unanswered ring bleating in his ear, the weight of his situation sank deeper into his gut. It started as a heavy lump, uncomfortable and solid, tangible evidence that something was wrong. Slowly it dissipated, leaving a chasm, an empty space inside him he didn’t know how to deal with. He wanted to fill it with positives, but with all the evidence in front of him, he could only drop into the space a thin thread of hope that everything was a bad dream or an unfunny joke. He kept returning to bed, sometimes for a few hours, other times merely minutes, and would alternate between pacing his bedroom floor and smoking with lying with the covers over his head until the light cracked through his blinds signaling another day.

He refused to succumb to the concept of the note. It was too absurd to believe, even as the proof mounted against him. He would lay there, unmoving, occasionally pulling the portable phone under the comforter with him and dialing randomly, hoping, praying to hear a live, human voice. Even though every call failed, he refused to get depressed, believing that staying positive was one of the last weapons he controlled. It took something routine and mindless to yank the cherished final thread of hope out of the space inside and destroy any thoughts he had of being right.

He worked up the energy to go outside and walk to the end of the stone pavers leading from his house to the street. He hesitated and mindlessly looked inside his mailbox. In that instant the veracity of his situation struck him with a force he had not anticipated. He suddenly knew the truth. There wouldn’t be any mail delivered today. There wouldn’t be any mail delivered tomorrow. Not this week. Not this month. Not this year. There was no one out there to send him a letter and there was no one out there to receive one of his. When he looked in his empty mailbox he knew without any doubts, like knowing when you are in love or when to duck; the note from the squatters was true. He was alone, the last man standing on the face of the earth. But not for long. Adam Mahoney turned toward his house, slowly retraced the steps he had just trod, walked through his front door and returned to bed.

All words and images ©2006/J. Colle

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