A story of 6 hours

Nov. 5, 2019, 2:21 a.m.

As I stepped out into the wintry night, the dirges that surrounded me howled in justification. The night is so cold, yet so serene and the milky white blanket of the forest and the trees substitute for the lulling calmness of slumber. Yes, oh yes, it is the witching hour. It is grind hour. It is my hour.  

The clock strikes 1 a.m. and the shadows begin to tumble. It is peak performance; it is the peak of the trees. The Hoover Tower, lit in all its glory, flares like a torch resounding over the distance in an Impressionist fashion, burning passion into the pages that fly by and the vermillion shadows that crawl past the white depths of solitude. Caffeine swirls sit in as I raise my cup, the cup of trembling, the cup of my past, over a keyboard’s placating sheen. Intently, I stare at it and feel it, the undulating currents of mocha that seem to traverse through my skin and through my veins. The chocolate begins to crawl and I stare dully at the pages as brown spots begin to form. They beg me to question them; they beg for my preponderance. Why, oh why, am I doing me thus? And, where does my humanity reside: in this cup or in my mind?  

Burning. Scrawling. Bleeding inside. The pages turn and they ooze with the letters of my horror, with the letters of my thoughts. “Coffee … Coffee … Coffee,” I whisper to myself, staring out into the distance and off to the side where all I had forsaken had begun. It’s slowly draining and I am slowly draining. Looking towards the remains of love that adorn my graven floor, what is pleasure in a bottle if it only lasts for a second? Does my pleasure reside in this bottle or does it reside within another human or a multiplicity of humans?  

It is the third quartet, the final stretch, and I am long since exasperated, shaking my cup of freedom. Red, red, all around. Leave me be. Let me see. Bloodshot and careening in my seat, life is a burden yet life is replete. As I slowly drag my hands to my face and scrounge my hair for the sin I bear, a plague of dots, yellow and red, follow my eyes. A parallax develops as they do not vanish nor take their leave, leaving me to stare downwards towards my desk and away from the torch that plagues my sleep. Can the loved really love? Can this truly last?  

Upon the fourth hour of my quartet, I take my leave, shuffling papers into my deck of life, into my deck of wondering. When was the last time I had lived? When was the last time I had eaten? The ashes glided around me and the still breeze of the morning hung around me as I took my leave from the depths of stone and white.  

Returning to my chambers, I was greeted by a quaint little coffee bean drowning in its own heavenly juices. Gently, I strew its essence around a circle and then a check plus plus. I then stared at it once more as if to say goodbye and then smoldered its remains. Triumph filled my eyes, but the faucets of depression came pouring down and I fell to my knees. My veins startled to curdle and my skin was slowly enveloped by an ashen cocoa grey. Intermittently, I convulsed and brown streams of phlegm welled up around me. This was the end, I thought. This was the bitter end.

By the fifth hour, I was reveling in my filth and by the sixth, I was no more than dust.  I had faded away, yet my memory lies in my caffeinated lust.

Contact Bronson Sansoni at bsansoni ‘at’ stanford.edu

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