When I returned from the city I settled into a new routine. During the day I slept, dreamless. At night I walked laps around the basement, blowing smoke at the concrete floor, the cracks underfoot growing bigger.
In between I watched television, infomercials mostly. For hours I sat on my mother’s couch, silently wishing I had the money for those four easy payments. I wanted Billy Mays to solve all of my problems, but Billy Mays was dead.
I was without work so I started spending a lot of time in the woods, partly to get out of the house, but mostly to contemplate self-inflicted violence.
There was a spot up the ridge where someone else had done it before about ten years back. A kid, still in high school, hanged himself from a tree.