He walked through the hallways of work, if not to say his house also, with a veil of sadness that hung from his head, his shoulders, his eyes, his thin-lipped mouth, invisibly. It might have been related to the color of his lime-green shirt, that is, merely a reflection caught and reflected back to us, of melancholia, certainly not envy, perhaps only insomnia, but surely something was on his mind- perhaps his recently (gingerly) accepted promotion, an upcoming move and all the stuff he’d forget into boxes, the failing health of his dog who was more so consistently hungry than loyal, the recent death of ****, the unusually bad weather that posted its calling card on the bulletin board of sky, the awful boxed pastries he had to have for breakfast (from now unto . . .) because time and traffic would allow him only that, the insistence that his new haircut did look good by his (he thought) closest friends, his co-dependency on the ATM machine’s calculation for his balance, a shoe that routinely defied his foot, a feeling that he’d been here before, that the rut he was stuck in was really a hill to more hills ahead, an inability to come up with an inspired string of numbers for his daily lottery ticket, a growing distrust of food served in styrofoam, a loathing for the school bell ring of the alarm clock, an abhorrence for the cheery harkening of the telephone, a notion that his cologne made him not smell good but merely like someone else, the full fledged idea that the hip and somewhat retro- outfit he recently bought and was wearing this very day was his own living breathing walking shroud of Turin.
Justin’s Note: Great art is a portrait. A sketch of a person. A self-portrait in a way. We see bits of ourselves in our writing. This piece draws the picture of a man whose loneliness chills the reader to the bone. Each word a brush stroke.