I sit in my room, at the window, waiting. In my lap is a handful of crumpled stars.
This could be the last time I have to wait. But I don’t know what I’m waiting for. What are you waiting for? they used to say. That meant Hurry up. No answer was expected. For what are you waiting is a different question, and I have no answer for that one either.
Yet it isn’t waiting, exactly. It’s more like a form of suspension. Without suspense. At last there is no time.
I am in disgrace, which is the opposite of grace. I ought to feel worse about it.
But I feel serene, at peace, pervaded with indifference. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. I repeat this to myself but it conveys nothing. You might as well say, Don’t let there be air; or, Don’t be.
I suppose you could say that.
There’s nobody in the garden.
I wonder if it will rain.
Outside, the light is fading. It’s reddish already. Soon it will be dark. Right now it’s darker. That didn’t take long.
There are a number of things I could do. I could set fire to the house, for instance. I could bundle up some of my clothes, and the sheets, and strike my one hidden match. If it didn’t catch, that would be that. But if it did, there would at least be an event, a signal of some kind to mark my exit. A few flames, easily put out. In the meantime I could let loose clouds of smoke and die by suffocation.
I could tear my bedsheet into strips and twist it into a rope of sorts and tie one end to the leg of my bed and try to break the window. Which is shatterproof.
I could go to the Commander, fall on the floor, my hair dishevelled, as they say, grab him around the knees, confess, weep, implore. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, I could say. Not a prayer. I visualize his shoes, black, well shined, impenetrable, keeping their own counsel.
Instead I could noose the bedsheet round my neck, hook myself up in the closet, throw my weight forward, choke myself off.
I could hide behind the door, wait until she comes, hobbles along the hall, bearing whatever sentence, penance, punishment, jump out at her, knock her down, kick her sharply and accurately in the head. To put her out of her misery, and myself as well. To put her out of our misery.