The moon was supposed to be especially bright that night, so during my usual throws of insomnia I threw open my balcony doors and peered expectantly at the sky, but a thick layer of red smog obscured my view so resigned I resumed what felt like an endless period of tossing and turning.
Monday morning came and although I knew that I’d spent most of the night in sequential bouts of fitful, broken sleep, in a room that was more stale food and filthy clothes than surfaces and furniture, I still greeted the new week with my usual sense of hope, as if this week would be any different from the routinely predictable weeks that came before it. By the end of the working day I was impatiently waiting for my drug dealers response to a hurriedly sent text requesting more substances than I could take in one night and still get the amount of sleep that would allow me to function. Regardless the substances were there in the better part of an hour and I was sat on Grindr, the hook app reserved for the most promiscuous of city men, selecting potential candidates like choosing my starter, main and dessert off the set menu at a mid level restaurant. After around twenty minutes of procrastination and a decent amount of to and fro communication going on between me and my final choices, I finally rose to tidy (or at least hide) the majority of the articles in my room that I could not justify having cleaned away immediately, the rest, like a teenager, I shoved to the recesses of my room that could not been seen, at least not immediately.
It’s around this point, as usual, that I’d begin to feel apprehensive, despite trying to quell the feeling with line after line of powdered bravado. It seemed to be as if the more immediate the action of meeting one of these guys, the worse the anxiety.
He often played this game with himself, daring himself to act in a more free and reckless way. He often failed. This time however he sent his address to the guy on the top of his shortlist and tried to concentrate on the taste the drugs left on his tongue as a distraction.
The man was here in less than ten minutes and it wasn’t long before his clothes were left across the room in various states of disarray, their placement reminded him of how he felt internally. He closed his eyes, and concentrated on the taste the drugs left on his tongue. It was bitter, he was bitter.
Of course, the morning came and I stowed the leftover drugs in my top drawer after regarding my empty bed in dismay. I spent half an hour in the shower willing my pores to release the smell of drugs from my body and brushed my teeth twice. At work I registered my processes only twice, on arrival and when I departed. This routine had lasted all week this time. This is what I’d call a particularly bad week, loneliness mixed with necessity resulting in the eventuality of sex and scents of other men, drugs to quell the social anxiety, only to realize that none of them spoke more than 5 sentences. Some of them didn’t want to speak at all.
By the time the weekend came, he was a mess, one or two men a night turned into 10 a day. Small plastic bags littered his room and filled his pocket. Another man buzzed his apartment. The lack of sleep had him feeling euphoric.
This guy was slightly different than the ones before and seemed to have a subtle aversion to removing his clothes, in his vulnerable state he wondered if the guys demeanor was down to him, maybe the guy didn’t find him as desirable in real life as he did in his profile picture, it had happened before. The guy asked if he could go for a smoke, he showed the guy to the balcony, and offered him a cigarette he felt the drugs beginning to wear off and looked up at the sky. The moon was white, almost silver.
I saw the glint in the corner of my eye, felt the hand cover my mouth, I screamed as the incision was made severing my tendons. Blinding pain that filled up my very being with a helpless rage, only deepening when I realized I could not run, could not walk. He dragged me back in to the room, slamming the balcony door closed.
The neighbours would not care. They probably wouldn’t even notice.
On Monday morning he made my way to work, after trying to block out the sirens that filled the estate in the early hours of the morning. Cycling tiredly past he saw the coroners remove the sealed black body bag from the block of flats, it was clear it was a murder by the amount of blood on the staircase. The neighbour’s were shocked but not shocked enough to halt on their way to work. he wondered about what had happened briefly. But then carried on to work, he didn’t want to be late.