[From Bad to Worse, 771 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Kevin had been depressed for a long time now. It was a bit over a year and he was still tied to his bed, sleeping more hours than he usually should, lethargic and despondent. He walked around with his eyes glued to the ground and his shoulders slunk. To Kevin, there seemed to be no end to this cycle of misery that he had found himself inhabiting. Every time he found himself coming out of the cycle of bitter pains, something would throw him back in and he found himself more entrenched than ever. Wherever he looked around; from left to right, from heaven to hell; he would find his own personal demons torturing him.
Kevin would spend his time sitting in front of the television and eating. He would never choose anything healthy to eat, he would always choose something sugary and fattening. Doughnuts and chocolate were a favourite treat. He would sit in front of the television, plonk himself directly in view of the box and stuff his face with all sorts of crappy things. As time passed, he gained more and more weight and inside his mind, he would slowly grow more infuriated with himself. Kevin knew he was doing the wrong thing. He knew he should have been looking after his health better; that he should have been looking after what he ate and should have been exercising more. But for the web of depression he found himself entangled in, he just couldn’t manage to escape its trappings.
That night Kevin prayed. Kevin prayed for some sort of assistance to come and help deliver him from his problematic circumstances. To help him break his habits and get his life back on track.
That’s when it happened. He had stopped off at the public toilets to use their facilities and as he exited the toilet cubicle there was a man waiting for him. The man had a shaggy beard, short hair, was of an average build and had a guitar strapped to his back. The man blocked Kevin from the taps where he was wanting to wash his hands.
“Excuse me, I have to get in there.”
“Get in where?” The man asked.
“To the taps, I need to wash my hands.”
“Is that really what you want?”
“What do you mean?” Kevin asked.
“Wouldn’t you rather be dead?”
“Excuse me?” Kevin was confused.
“You’re a fat piece of shit, you know that right?”
“What has my weight got to do with anything?”
“You offend me. You realize that, don’t you?” The man with the shaggy beard got in real close to Kevin. So that his breath was on Kevin’s neck. Kevin couldn’t speak, couldn’t do anything. He wanted to escape the situation. Wanted to get out of there and back outside among other people. To where it was safe. Kevin decided not to wash his hands and went for the exit of the public toilets. That’s when the man with a shaggy beard went to block the exit. “Where are you going? Don’t you need to wash your hands?”
“I need to get out. Away from you, you arsehole!” Kevin stood there defiant.
“I’m an arsehole am I? Well, if I’m an arsehole, you’re a fat piece of shit!” Kevin’s eyes widened. He was shocked for how this man was treating him. He didn’t know what to do, how to react. “I want you to say it. I want you to say, ‘I’m a fat piece of shit.’” The man didn’t look like he was going to relent. It looked like he was just going to continue torturing Kevin until Kevin did what he said.
So Kevin conceded, he lowered his head and said, “I’m a fat piece of shit.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.”
Louder this time, Kevin repeated himself, “I’m a fat piece of shit!”
“Good, now you can wash your hands, you fat piece of shit.” Kevin went to wash his hands and the man disappeared outside.
Kevin walked past the man later in the park outside the public toilets. He was singing a song to a girl, serenading her with his guitar, singing all these sweet and lovely words to her. But Kevin knew the truth compared to the image the man was showing to this young woman. Kevin may very well be fat, he thought, but he was not a piece of shit. The real piece of shit was right there, singing some stupid love song to some stupid girl.
And Kevin went home. He had wanted something to make him feel better. Things had just gone from bad to worse.