The tile was worn from the dogs coming and going at the back door. He never considered new flooring as he was broke and didn’t care much about appearances. That extended to his own looks-disheveled and rundown from years of prescription drug abuse and too much vodka. It really didn’t matter at this stage of his life. He had the settlement money and his parents’ house, so ambition wasn’t welcome.

He spent the better part of the day medicated and online, interacting with like-minded strangers in forums where he could share his many tangled thoughts and theories. His sister stopped talking to him last year after a contentious birthday celebration. His sidekick, Joe, wasn’t too loyal since he’d gotten married and had a kid. This life suited him even though he could not seem to calm his brain enough to sleep.

He decided to give up on romance after Nancy. She tried to change him: “mend him” as she put it. He didn’t doubt her affections, but he he had no intention of giving up the pills or the vodka chasers. She had no experience with his underlying issues, nor with what he needed to do to tame them, so he forgave her by letting her go.
A simple enough solution that left him lonely for a while, at least until he adjusted his medications to the point where women didn’t cross his mind. Now he only had to make it through another day, to then wake up and do it all over again.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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