Alternate Timelines

Unfinished Nights

City lights in the distance appear like arson, the smokestacks nearby only further selling the image, and I wonder where this town went. Once a home, now it seems broken. I’d say it went to the dogs, but even they don’t seem to want it anymore. It’s become a discarded chew toy. Population: who gives a shit? So, why do I stay? I ask myself that question every night and day, no closer to an answer than I am to these damsels.

The cycle just continues. So I do too.

Night patrols go the way of the gun, and my life goes the way of the cigarette. I don’t quit either, and the two never leave my side. Talk about having a toxic loyalty to the job. Street corners remain dim, but if push comes to shove, I know my weapon will give me all the light I need. Death rests in potholes. Help doesn’t arrive, and hope drowns in the stench of drunk alleyways, and the sound of pregnant sirens who have nothing better to do than wait.

I don’t wake up wanting to tempt anything.

I’m content living in the space between opening my eyes to darkness and turning to face the inevitable neon that is my alarm clock mixed with the Eddie’s Diner sign across my apartment’s window. Fate, love, sex, drugs, death? They know where to come find me. I’m afraid I know I know I’m afraid, but they don’t, and that makes all the difference. They see a stupid old fool. Only half of their vision is correct, though even mine is no longer 20/20.

But the night isn’t the only thing that remains unfinished.