Waiting (a short story)



So, this was inspired by Hubert Selby, Jr. And in the vein of HSJ, it's a giant brick of text. It was also inspired by my cousin who did time. And it is brought forth with great amounts of cynicism.


by Oscar Lopez Jr.

I did fifteen years. Yeah, fifteen long, miserable years. Tossing and turning becomes almost rhythmic, like it's all about of some bigger plan. Like if you toss and turn enough times, in some secret kind of order you'll become numb to it. All of it. After awhile you'll find that your body does get used to it, but your mind doesn't. Your body is locked up, limitations present and staring you in the face as if the hardest character on the yard, standing you down while you sweat and cry out internally. It's a constant cerebral fight for the life or death of your sanity. That persistent drill of the Warden's voice on the overhead speakers, cursing your existence and every breath you take, with every breath he takes. Day in and day out like the ticking of a dismal clock protruding from the chest cavity where there probably should be a heart, and you come to the realization that it's all about time. While you do the time of your penance, your body also counts down till closing time, when it can finally lay up its tarp, punch its card, and never have to work again. What gave me the right to hurt another? What gave 12 cocksuckers the right to decide where I belong? You give the Devil his robes and let him sit upon his throne but you tell him not to sin. We're all hypocrites and we're all liars, but at least I won't sit here and pretend to be changed. Fifteen years I'll never get back, and now my twenty year old daughter calls another man Father. And now she even has her own child to call her Mother. I've waited, but truthfully I don't know for what or whom. Fuck you, you bastards, you can have it all! you've already taken everything else from me. How will I sleep at night when I no longer hear the metal clanking, the sink dripping, and my cellmate snoring, but only after an hour of crying himself to sleep? Will I dream of confinement the way I now dream of freedom? I've been better taken of here than a sixty-five year old broad left in a home by the bastard she birthed, raised, clothed, and worked four jobs to keep in school. It's a vicious circle in the end, and we're all apart of it in some way or other. Even those who choose to stay home, watching with some popcorn as it all falls apart and this little circle proves to be a square. No one wants to pick a side, but every last one of us, and yeah I'll include myself, will point a finger in every direction. We'll become like vampires when the mirror is turned on us, 'cause we can't accept the blame, can we? You're too perfect in your little bubble to say "Yeah, I fucked up. I'm only human . . . this is only temporary." I don't want to be human anymore, or an alien. I just want to be myself. I don't want to be 65 years old, waiting for my kid to come and take me away to that old folks home to be buried alive until death in all it's charity picks me over the others. This ain't no lottery, and I've never considered myself lucky. So, just as my kid rings the doorbell I'm blowing my brains out 'cause I refuse to be buried alive ever again. So you sign that piece of paper and let me go, or don't. I'll stay here growing evermore bitter and finding new shit to complain about for the next time we meet. I'll be here waiting.

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