He woke up from the flashes of sunlight and bunched up cotton. His mouth harsh. The bedsheet was scrunched chaotically behind his left ear, and the comforter was without comfort.
Attempting to neglect his consciousness and the dull throb in his head that came with each new flash of sun, he decided to lie still, but could not close his eyes. Last night plagued him. Once again, he allowed his moral standards to disappear in some intentionally applied stupor, so he could avoid the shame of a future honest reflection. The stupor lingered into his morning, and shallow thoughts dragged across his mind. The time felt slow and deliberate, like he was forced to feel the seconds. He sifted through the thoughts, only to arrive unimpressed, at the cold outcomes that outlined his life.
He wondered why people never seem to discuss seconds. They talk about days, years, mornings and nights – but never seconds. But perhaps, he thought, people don’t discuss seconds because there’s not much to say. Like a couple days after a serious break-up when a realization that it’s over seeps completely into your body. Or the second year of marriage when your friends stop asking you how it’s going. Or the drive home after your Grandma’s burial.
Then he thought about the seconds he experienced in college, when it’d hit him how privileged he was. When he realized that even his worst problems didn’t compare to all the real problems in the world. He recalled a fact he read once, that seventeen thousand children die everyday from diarrhea.
These thoughts clogged his mind, overlapping over one another, building a wanton tower of babble that left him dissolved in retrospection. Seconds, he decided, were unavoidable realizations. They existed for him to evolve or ignore entirely.
Written by Noah Fish