The department of unnecessary disruption showed up last night. At my front door. Late. I was asleep. Alone. I heard them kick it in, the front door. I told myself not to be afraid.
Like the sureness of a setting sun and the promise of the night it holds on its breath, I knew this would come. They always come in the night, the department of unnecessary disruption. Although, no one talks about it, except for the odd rumour that floats on lips while darting eyes dart. We all know the number of our days.
But no one wants to give life to the thought. Keep it in and it might remain a dream. Words breathe life into ghosts best left in doubt, in dark shadows. In no ambiguous terms: keep your mouth shut to it.
The days prior to the night the department of unnecessary disruption showed up were nondescript. A slideshow of life without living — life desaturated. Time spins out of control in slow motion. Sometimes I cut myself to remember my heartbeat. Sometimes, late at night, I read your love letters and remember the laughter in your eyes and the warmth of the sun.
The neighbours wave each morning and hustle their kids into their Dodge Caravan. I smile and return the obligation, my housecoat tight like a noose as I drag a full container of refuge to the curb in the rain or carry in a soggy newspaper.
Our eyes never meet, never. To meet is to acknowledge the certainty to come – the night. The department of unnecessary disruption. No one risks acknowledging it.
How is work, they ask? Oh work’s fine, I say. It’s amazing you can live in that big house all alone, they tell me. Yes, it is.
They don’t ask if it’s lonely. If I’m lonely. Why invite discomfort in.
The department of unnecessary disruption kicked in my front door last night. I knew they were coming. The world gasped in contrived anticipation. Heavy boots chewed through the darkness. Shadows on the walls announced their arrival.
I want to believe my neighbours awoke to the sound. Turned on a light, perhaps. But likely no more than whispers punctuated the darkness of their bedroom. I can imagine: “It’s them, they’ve come for him.” and “Go back to sleep.”
The department of unnecessary disruption has come for me, in the night. I sit up. I sit up on the edge of the bed and wait. My hands folded on my lap. I face a window filled with stars on a backdrop of black. The barren branches of trees in silhouette risk no movement. It looks cold. My back is to the bedroom door.
I sit and smile to myself in the darkness, wrapped in warm indifference. I remember a time when I was afraid of them, back when life was filled with sharp edges that gave you something to live for, to look forward to.
The department of unnecessary disruption showed up last night. The things I once valued are all gone. I have nothing to offer them. They do not care. They take me anyway. Life goes on.