Bill Harper has decided he doesn’t matter.
And if he doesn’t matter, doesn’t that give him freedom? Doesn’t that give him leeway?
That kid was right, his funeral would be a burden. He hated to think of his bloated body rotting in a coffin waiting for burial. Who would even show up? His sister? Doubtfully. Maybe some coworkers, but that would only be to get out of work.
He feels more tears coming.
He’s been crying nonstop for days now.
He tries to brush them away. They started out being tears of sorrow, but now they are tears of anger and hate for a life wasted.
He is done wasting his life. From now on he was going to matter.
He sits looking at a picture of his cat. He is using it as a profile picture because he hates his double chin and small little eyes and slowly expanding forehead. This is his favorite picture of Mr. Snuffles. The one where the eight year old tabby is playing with a stream of light pouring through a prism.
Even this picture does not matter.
It was boring. He had seen it millions of times with a million different cats. Out of all his seventy-two friends online only three people liked it and of those, one like was from the bitch Susan Brucher, the last woman he dated who made Bill swear he had never had sex with a man.
He met her on an online dating website. She was fat with small tits. She had bad breath. She got mean over dinner where she drank five glasses of white zin.
“I swear,” he promised. Disgusted with himself, not because he had, but because he hadn’t.
She did not believe him.
And he thought about killing her.
Even then. Even before he realized he did not matter. That he was just checking off days on his calendar waiting for the day to come where he wouldn’t be around any longer to do his chores to work his job to feed his cat and iron his clothes.
He had only death to look forward to. A lonely brutal death.
When she walked out to her car he watched her climb in. He watched the shocks shift on the old sedan. He watched as the engine roared to life. He watched as she almost ran down two people crossing the parking lot. He watched as she merged into traffic. He watched as she pulled off the road into a housing division. He watched her struggle to get out of her car and cross a yard desperate for some some TLC. He watched as she drug her yipping shaggy haired rat dog around the block, yelling at it to hurry up, and stepping over the small balls of turd it left in the middle of the sidewalk.
But he stopped watching when the cop drove by at two in the morning.
Shit or get off the pot. So he got off.
But what if he hadn’t? He could have mattered to someone that night.
He never really thought of himself as gay before that date.
So what if he experimented. So what if he had the url to some gay porn sites memorized and when the straight stuff didn’t work he would go there. Maybe more often then not he wouldn’t even pretend about the straight stuff and just go right to the kinky stuff as he thought of it.
Not gay, kinky.
But he wasnt gay.
Being gay meant having gay sex and he never had gay sex. Not that he was unwilling, just unwanted by either sex. He went to a club once and was left alone at the bar. Not a single conversation. Not a single lingering look. Not a smile or nod or anything else he had assumed would happen.
But also he’s never had sex with a woman either.
The idea kind of makes him ill.
When the idea of having sex creeps into his neat and tidy little mind and he does not think about the hot twenty-ond year old temp down the hallway. Or even the middle aged single mom. He thinks of Terry the security guard who takes his ID card with a calloused black hand. He makes him think of prison movies. Bill hates himself for it.
And he hates Susan Brucher.
He watches as her car pulls up into the drive way of her house.
The brake lights shine bright in the early Fall darkness.
Her door slams.
She trundles to her front door.
Bill tugs on the surgical gloves he has pulled over his hands.
It’s time to matter, he decides, way past time.