[A lover, not a fighter, 931 words, Genre: Dark Humour]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
He was a lover, not a fighter, Walter was. The thing about lovers, true lovers, is that they are completely hopeless in the real world. You will get some people who are a mix of the two, being a lover and a fighter at the same time, but very rarely will you get someone who is straight out a lover. Surviving in the world isn’t easy, never has been, that’s when your fighting spirit comes into play. That killer instinct for some, for others it can be as simple as fending off the blows. If you’re a lover without fight, you’re pretty much fucked. You will stare dreamily into space, unable to pay attention to what’s happening around you, simply because you are in love with the natural beauty that surrounds you. Some lovers turn into fighters as the world prompts them out of their loving gaze and they are forced to confront the real world. That didn’t happen for Walter. Instead, he continued to stare dreamily off into space as his life fell apart around him. As he lost his job. As he continued to lose job after job, never being able to hold one down. As he quarrelled with his family. And eventually became homeless, surviving with the clothes on his back. He never fought back, even when presented the opportunity to hit the world back, that had so thoroughly kicked his arse, he chose to continue staring into space. Space with its lovely pieces of lint floating in the air, that can be seen when the right light hits it. Space with its endless possibilities, the seemingly never ending list of options seems to overwhelm. Space, it seems to hold the contents and opportunities of the universe for the person who looks at it at the right angle.
Staring off into space became a self destructive behaviour for Walter. He shrugged it off, as he did with most things in his life. Homeless, surviving off twenty dollars a day, he would spend his days in the public library, creating a world of fantasy and science fiction through the written word. It wasn’t necessarily that Walter wanted to succeed in this vocation, when offered the opportunity for his work to be read by those who took an interest in him, he declined and continued staring off into space. His writing and the creation of these fantasy worlds were an escape for him. Where he no longer had to confront the fraternity of homeless poverty that he had ended up in. The criminals, the drug dealers, the mentally ill, the alcoholics and the drug addicts that lived in dormitories for his social class. He wasn’t a drug addict, criminal or mentally ill. His problem was that he was a lover without any fight in him. He slept outside, on the streets, to escape the negative energy and violence that surrounded those habitual dormitories. When he was writing, he was in another world, away from all that mess.
It was difficult to say what Walter wanted exactly. Through his writing, he had escaped the realities of abject poverty. There was one thing that Walter would admit to whole heartedly. Being a lover, he wanted love. Sex more precisely; the human touch, the release of the pressures from depression that he faced on a routine basis. That moment of climax. That ticket to heaven. And for all his imagination, masturbation didn’t quite cut it anymore. He wanted this more than anything else. His problem was that no woman would have him and he couldn’t afford the services of a prostitute.
Then one day, while riding the public transport system, he saw the answer to his prayers. An advertisement for drug testing by one of the pharmaceutical companies, they were testing the latest cancer treatment. It was for breast cancer, but he applied for the experiment anyway, and lo and behold, they accepted him as one of the control group participants. For the next month he slept in and out of the hospital and the streets. Which was a happy change considering it was winter. They were going to pay him fifteen hundred dollars for the use of his body, which he was planning to spend it all for the use of someone elses’. A month passed and there were no ill side effects, the doctors took note and at the end of the month the experiment was over. There would be no consideration of long term side effects of the drug… Or if there was, Walter being homeless had no way of being contacted. Walter was paid and his wallet became the thickest it had ever been. With fifteen hundred dollars in tow, he continued to sleep on the streets, with the severest cold front that the city had ever seen.
He made the phone call to one of the brothels. He stated that he had fifteen hundred dollars and set up a time and date. At the sight of him, the prostitute was disgusted, Walter being what he was, but she would close her eyes and get it over and done with. Walter stood there laughing nervously as she undressed in the bedroom. Then the act commenced, Walter being inexperienced was not one for foreplay and before long he was thrusting away. He wouldn’t last long. At the peak of his physical exertion something happened, his eyes went sideways. A brain aneurysm burst a blood vessel and he fell, dead as a fish, on top of her. The prostitute began to scream. Poor motherfucker didn’t even get to blow his load.