Being alive hurts. The pain comes in so many different forms: despair, anguish, aches, and scrapes. The worst, by far, is the pain inflicted by your mind. The emotional and psychic torment you suffer because of what you do to yourself, unintentionally or not. The ravages of an everyday routine that offers no reward or pleasure- not even the hint of a future payoff for the misery you currently endure-grind you down to a nub. It goes well beyond what we call depression because you don’t even want to be awake to then be forced to acknowledge the hollow nature of your life. The waiting tasks and tedious duties seemingly designed to distract you enough to make it through each day actually only serve to reinforce the futility of it all. There is no love, there is no respite, there is no pleasure. Just breath after breath that you didn’t choose.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

By jebrownwriter

Houston, TX-based Writer and Photographer. Proud pet rescuer who spends nearly all his money on them.

4 replies on “Irving”

Really beautiful piece, Jeff. An emotion or state of being that most people, or fictional character, can relate to at some point in their life. The emptiness of being a machine. Thank you for a great read to accompany my morning coffee!


I think bringing our mental health struggles into fictional pieces helps us cope through expression and bring us joy because we spend time doing something we love.


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