Parable from Hell | Carmen E Brady

As I passively descend the levels of hell, a voice rings out. 

“Did you want a receipt?” 

No! Don’t tell me what I’ve spent or how much of that is wasted. I must go forth.

Time loops onward. I fall in love, I get black out drunk. I say things I regret. I feel fulfilled and it always falls apart. I move, I settle in but not down. 

I move again, a voice rings out. 

“Did you want a baby?” 

I love my job, but I miss my time. 

I quit my job, I miss my money. 

I get a job, I visit home but never stay. 

I want to die until I realize that death isn’t the saddest thing. 

Living is the saddest thing, other than having a baby. No, no, I can’t do that. 

I slow fade from people’s lives, I fade into others, a voice rings out.

“Did you want fries with that?” 

No, if I gave up on being skinny, I wouldn’t be able to misquote these lyrics. I wash my face, the dog barks. I eat pickles straight from the jar, I water dying plants. I try to live ethically, I give up and buy fast fashion, a voice rings out. 

“Did you really want to replay these moments for the rest of your life?”

No, not really. 

I just don’t know what else to do.

Carmen E Brady writes, draws, and teaches in the rural southwestern US. Her work has appeared in Hobart, Vagabond City Lit, JMWW, and elsewhere online and in print. Twitter: @therealcbrad

Posted In: