Burnt Out

Location

 

I’ve walked for what appears to be like forever but I know it has only been a few blocks. At the end of the street lies an aged scarlet bench that is blanketed by the falling rays of the sun. Newly etched in its surface were the initials of a love long since passed. Resting my weary body, I wait for a bus to take me anywhere but here. As darkness falls, the city’s numerous eyes close their shades then goes black. The streetlight next to me is awake but is blinking as if still drowsy from its long sleep. I reach into my pocket for a lighter and my last cigarette. The newly lit flame blurts to life, intruding on the night’s silence. I hold the flame to the cigarette end until it glows a dark crimson and inhale deeply. The warm air filling my lungs seems to almost lift my haggard body off the bench. Puffing out the smoke, it gathers with the midnight clouds to dance against the pale moonlight. A ballet so hauntingly beautiful that not even Beethoven could construct a sonata to its ghostly splendor. But the crimson light burns out, leaving only a scorched hand and ashes. The rest of the euphoric smoke leaves my lips and is carried off by the chilling night air, leaving me hollow yet oddly satisfied. I take a few hesitant steps away from the bench and follow the remaining streetlights home for this had been nothing more than a bitter sweet dream. 

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