Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Silent Salesman Chapter 02

The Hobos name was Michael Sedgwick. He had forgotten it since but it was an important part of his life thirty years ago. Back then, Michael was a junior executive in an up-and-coming company dealing with rubber and rubber products. He had a beautiful, loving girlfriend name Agatha, a nice, modest house, a strong German built car and a steady income. He looked good and was healthy. He was, in short, happy. But, thirty years ago, Michael Sedgwick killed himself.

Michael sat on the only chair in a motel room. Through a crack in the curtains, shone the last light of a setting sun. All of the furniture, except the chair, has been moved to the edges of the room. Lamps on top of tables on top of dressers. The bed is wedged on it's side against the door and the mattress is in the bathroom. Michael is smoking a cigarette, tipping the ash onto the grimy carpet. Today he is wearing a white shirt and a pair of jeans which is rare for him, but he likes it. Above his head quietly swings a noose.

Two weeks ago, Michael knocked down and killed a man. A human being with a family. He didn't stop to help the man or wait for an ambulance. He drove home, cleaned his car, tried to eat and tried to sleep but could do neither. Guilt overcame his senses, turning his days red. He became a zombie, distant and unresponsive to the world around him, including his loved ones. Agatha suffered the most, unable to communicate with Michael anymore. They argued over everything and nothing. Years later, she would still wonder if only she knew, could she have saved him?

Thirty seconds after he had stubbed out the cigarette on the carpet, he was hanging from the noose. The chair kicked out from underneath him. Michaels body split itself into different sections, each trying to do it's own thing to save the whole. His legs stretched themselves downward uncontrollably. His fingers bent, twisted and clawed. His tongue trying to escape his mouth. His brain counted the seconds. His throat swelled trying to get air into his lungs which shrank. Michael Sedgwick felt himself die and become a spirit floating above a swinging corpse. Moving up, around and through the ceiling beams, the spirit was free. But there was someone else in the room.

The bed was still perched against the door. The window was still closed, the curtains unmoved. The strange man was fully naked and was dragging the mattress from the bathroom to underneath where the corpse was hanging. He released the corpse which fell onto the mattress, and then he kissed the corpse just once. The spirit and the corpse reunited and Michael awoke feeling like every atom in his body had began fighting each other. He turned slightly to look at the naked man but immediately got sick over the mattress. "It's alright", said the stranger, "you'll be alright".