To kill another person is… such an easy thing. Sometimes, it even feels good. For a moment. Then, like paper through the office shredder, your soul is torn to the core.
I can almost remember a time when I slept through the night. Almost. I have to remind myself that it’s only been twenty years. Sure, only more than half my life. It’s June 7, 1995. Last night I said goodbye to Linda at the bar, but first I agreed to meet her for breakfast today. She didn’t invite me to her hotel room, nor did she ask to accompany me home, nor did I breach the subject in any way. There was an underlying tension, a thought that we might rekindle the flame from three years ago. I sure felt it, and I believe she did too, but in the end, we said goodnight and went our separate ways.
I’ve anticipated this meeting from the instant she offered to buy me breakfast, yet as I drive to her hotel, the lingering effects of another restless night distract me. My dream of Alex, reduced to a puff of smoke in a gale-force wind, still cuts me to the bone. I struggle to regain my composure, but my emotions remain on edge, as though the smallest catalyst will tumble me into the abyss, the black chasm of my mind. I’ve long stood upon the precipice, waiting—almost hoping—for the ledge to collapse beneath me.
I attempt to suppress the memory in a blast of music from a cassette, an upbeat, kick-ass mixed tape designed to improve my mood and get me going on days like this. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick screams that he’s All Wound Up. I could use a little of that myself.
Linda said last night that she wanted to talk about Mitchell Norton. What’s to talk about? I want to return to the job I started seventeen years ago and failed to finish. I want to slit his goddamned throat.