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