February 31st

Bushra Elsnousi

Content Warning: Suicide

It wasn’t really a different epoch as people like to believe; the obtuse ringing of clocks still startled the calamity of every dawn; I woke up at 5 am to the resonating sound of my alarm. The room was dark and cold, in anticipation of the sun, the spectacle gone missed on occasion. I looked at the protruding element at my front, and I noticed a subtle excitation—my underwear had little beige stains.

The calendar mounted on the wall read February 31st. I recall feeling strange about that, but the lethargy of the moment allowed no further investigation as I exchanged fluids with ceramic apparatus before wearing a pair of pants and a shirt.

I craved a good breakfast, but the lack of ingredients made it difficult to make something befitting the craving. I made black coffee instead. With each sip, the bitterness reflected the state innate in perfect sadness, it was time to go to work.

I work in a warehouse. I’m a supervisor which means I sit around as time passes slowly, and, when boredom reaches a peak, I go and make the workers uncomfortable. The only talent I possess is talking definitively; when you speak in a confident manner people believe you! I often wonder what came to color me in such a dull fashion. I get a little upset following such a thought, but I manage to shake off the feelings of self-pity just enough so I may afford some will.

It wasn’t an eventful day. But I was feeling unusually heavy close to the resolving hour. On my way back home, the view of people flowing in multitudes elevated my sense of insignificance as my mental state took another drop. At home, the big screen TV showed advertisements of fake people. Ridiculous propositions such as getting a three-dimensional printer to cook a pizza made me feel disgusted while the pharmaceutical companies waged their wars on which pill would make one happier. It was the birth of a new nation with new modalities; the new world that stood on the verge with all its advancements lacked soul, and I was not having it.

My life passed in my mind like enjoyable taped footage. And instead of picking up the anti-depressant or the phone, I picked up my stashed gun, pointed it at the side of my head, and boom!

I did not die. I just woke up startled! It was March 1st and I was late for work.