Shadows of My Former Self

It was a dark and stormy night
What is odd is that it was summer in Stockholm
when there is normally no night at all.
So a dark and stormy night was strange indeed.
It was a slow day, like most of them lately.
I put on my threadbare excuse for a coat and went out to investigate.
I looked up into the chilly day and saw only darkness
Where there should have been sun.
There is always sun, day and ‘night’, during this time of year.
My first thoughts were that a volcano in nearby Iceland had exploded
But I picked up a newspaper and the news was just the normal comings and goings of the city.
The paper was hard to read in the dark. I had to squint and missed many words but got the gist.
Certainly an eruption large enough to obscure the sun would excite the newspapers
Enough to bleat it out in large print like the end of the world was near.
But there was only news of traffic jams, polar bear sightings and new recycling centers.
The thunder was another thing. It was not raining, yet the thunder was constant.
Thunderstorms are unusual here. What is going on? If only someone would pay me to find out.
But everyone just jostled past me on their way to work, or lunch
Or a meeting with a would be lover. You can tell them by the hopeful smiles on their faces.
I groped my way back to my dingy office hoping not to run into the landlord.
I was out of excuses for not being able the pay the rent.
I somehow didn’t think the end of the world would impress him.
The thunder…please stop the thunder! It is driving me mad!
I downed two large shots of whiskey and a sleeping pill. I didn’t want to die just yet
But needed to wake up in a different day…a better day…a day with light and birds and normalcy.
Darkness and thunder faded away and sleep fitfully and mercifully overcame me.
As my body slumped on the office couch the iPod earbuds fell out of my ears.
The thunder was now just playing to the cockroaches scurring about.
Soon my glasses fell off my head and onto the floor.
The dark coating of peanut butter on them was a bonanza to the roaches
Which soon scurried over them for a meal.
Had I been awake I would have resolved to never again let my nephew visit my office
But I didn’t know. I was dreaming of the end of the world.

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