Max woke up late into the morning and got out late into the afternoon. He laid in bed for hours with his thoughts. He would do this until he felt something. Sometimes he stayed in bed all day, numb, but he had to face the world. Not feeling anything or anywhere. He walked to the only coffee shop he liked and ordered the same cup of coffee he always did. He sat in the back of the crowded room surrounded by people, by disconnected voices and inhuman laughter.
He wondered how he could feel so lonely among so many people. He drank, ate cups of coffee in the back booth by the blocked off window. There wasn’t any feeling to the casual touch of the stranger or the girl behind the counter who smiled at him with sweet intentions. He looked at the people in the coffee shop and wondered how human they all felt. He watched as the people came and went and came, time was spanning in and out as he watched them, age older and older as his heart beat with every cup of coffee. Somehow it beat slower with each drink. He didn’t feel like any time passed but time came and went without him. The warm touch of the coffee kept him present. When music played he became further lost in it. In the space of one song the woman behind the counter grew older each day, her smile faded and her sweet intentions died. He wished that he could feel with her the pain of old age, the wisdom of heart break, the fire that slowly died each day. All he felt was his fingers, tingling; burning as his cup refilled, emptied. Filled, emptied. Filled, emptied. Filled, emptied. Filled, emptied. Filled, emptied. It was this tedium in the back of the coffee shop that reminded him that he was, indeed, human.
He walked up Bleaker street to meet with his other band in Forman’s garage. Today Max couldn’t feel time. He pulled his bass over his shoulder for the 7856th time. He looked out the garage window and stared at the flashing red light, on and off. On and off. A cold drop hit his face and brought him back to life like the jolt of a defibrillator or the kiss of a stranger who just saved him from drowning. As each drop poured over his face he felt more alive. A cold rush poured over him as the drops turned to floods of water, he walked out toward the red light that stayed still, everything was still. He closed his eyes and it continued to blink but only it continued to blink. Everything else stopped. He continued to play his bass as it vibrated the still water around it and dropped. Everything was distorted with a clear stratum of water that made him want to weep, with no idea why. As he walked through the walls of water that covered him and fell to the ground. He continued to strum and walk towards the light. The light continued to mesmerize him, something about the rain reminded him of home. It made him feel a bitter sweetness that made his heart sick with pangs of memory.
He shut his eyes; felt a heaviness as his arms played. Sound came back into his life. Warmth replaced the bitter bite of the cold, the last thing he heard was “gone” and that was his cue to stop. He stopped playing and felt lost again. Max walked out the door, dripping. As he walked home he felt like he would never be home again. He thought about the red light and felt a longing for something he couldn’t even imagine.
The next day he laid in bed with his thoughts, the same he did every morning. He stared up at the ceiling and felt a particular heaviness. It weighed him down, and kept him there. As he was forced to think about the state of his life, he grew more still. The heaviness grew and grew and eventually overtook him. He sank heavier and heavier into himself. His heart felt more sick with each second, he couldn’t face the day today. He couldn’t face the week. He couldn’t face the year. He couldn’t face–
He wondered if his life was just a moment or an eternity.
He wondered for a moment if his life was an eternity.
He wondered for eternity if his life was just a moment.