Issue403

Existential Terror and Breakfast: 13

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

Malcolm Steadman will dial the suicide hotline in 46 days.

The aroma of the port wine felt sweet and heavy as Malcolm Steadman poured it into a glass. He swirled it around merrily and admired its dark color. Setting it down, Malcolm moved on now to his stove where he removed two slices of fried bananas from the heated pan and lovingly placed them on top of his freshly made waffles. His happy stride was closer to that of a dance as he glided without worry  and fetched the candied maple bacon strips from his other pan. His whistling was as light as his mood and became a sort of jazz as he drizzled melted peanut butter on top of his breakfast concoction. Malcolm rarely took the time to cook like this and admired his decadent plate with pride. He sat now, with his waffles in front of him, and his port wine back in his hand deliberately facing a blank wall. It was time for his scheduled panic attack.

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Existential Terror and Breakfast: Tree

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

 

The forest is never quiet. Birds only stop chirping when there is danger.

The amount of time that had gone by since the tree was just a sapling to what it was now, was almost immeasurably long. The sun had chased the moon so many times in the tree’s life it was hard to say that anything had changed at all. When it was a seed, it was so minuscule, so vulnerable. There were so many creatures, each infinitely more capable of movement and speed than the seed, and each of them could have collected it up and eaten it. Its life could have ended there, before the moon had a chance to reign the sky. But it didn’t. The seed went unnoticed, and the seed gave root.Continue reading →

Existential Terror and Breakfast: 12

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

 

Was nostalgia all he had to look forward to now? Was looking back all he had ahead of him? The thought had not gone away. He had done his best to repress it, and considering his history with being overwhelmed by existential dread, had actually done a good job at it. Until now.

After his incredibly awkward interactions with the shady looking boy at the bus stop, Malcolm Steadman kept his cool and was able to collect himself before his interview. Though the thought had done its best to demand his attention, he was able to ignore it and excelled at his job interview. Malcolm seemed calm, personable, and most importantly: sane. He was able to answer every question with ease, even as he was playing a sort of whack-a-mole with the sentiment he was trying to ignore. Malcolm was at his best, and it had paid off, he walked away with the job. He walked away with a more secure future, he walked away with a guarantee that he could go on to enjoy the comforts he had become accustomed to. He should have walked away with a sense of success and pride, but the thought was like an infection, and it was spreading. Was nostalgia all he had to look forward to now?Continue reading →

Existential Terror and Breakfast: Perceptions Part 2

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

Malcolm Steadman will dial the suicide hotline in 48 days.

The shady looking boy that stood next Malcolm Steadman was making him nervous. To be fair, Malcolm was nearly always nervous and had once been set into a philosophical frenzy because of burnt toast, but the boy next to him looked dangerous. Malcolm had taken the city bus enough times to know when he shouldn’t turn his back on someone, and right now, everything about this boy told Malcolm that this was definitely one of those times. It did not help that the teenager Malcolm was worrying about had just reached into his pocket to feel something. A knife? Wherever the bus was, it needed to be here right now.Continue reading →

Existential Terror and Breakfast: Malcolm’s Neighbor

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

 

Forty-six days before he would call the suicide hotline, Malcolm decided that he would skip breakfast. Nothing good had come of it for weeks now–at least beyond basic sustenance and more often than he’d like to think, not even that.

No. This morning he would get down to business. He would sit down at his computer and fill out applications to jobs until there was no time left in the day. In fact, he’d do it with such determination and such focus that there would be no time or opportunity for him to feel anxious, or wonder what horrors lay hidden beneath the veneer of normality.Continue reading →