First Thought, Last Breath


So, I’m getting out of work. I walk toward Debbie. There is a loaf and a half stuffed precariously in between my left arm and torso. With a bag of small rolls in my left hand, and books in my right, I have my hands real full. I cautiously walk to Debbie.

I have her keys wrapped around my fingers and thumb. My old phone is in the palm of the same hand. This is my right hand, and I gently rotate the wrist. The key is stuck. I wiggle it. It won’t work.

Without much grace, and with some effort, I somehow get my books from underneath my right arm and place them on top of  Debbie. It’s a good thing there was no rain, because I forgot to close the sunroof again.

I flashback to that time covered with rain, where my lips touched hers. In one fluid act, our tongues mixed saliva with the rainwater that seeped into our mouths. It felt good.

I earned eight dollars in tips at work today. I put the cash in between the two ends of my beaten flip phone. Enough to buy a new pack of cigarettes and pay my friend back for buying me lunch earlier. A processed chicken square in the middle of two bleached buns -a staple product of  the high school cafeteria. It’s all I ate today. Which was some time before noon, and my remedy for the plastic taste was to drench the chicken square in hot sauce. Now, it is only a few minutes after ten.

So there, my aged flip phone is up there with my books and the money is securely stashed within. Once again I insert the key into Debbie -a broken memory of a future once taken for granted, but now permanently lost.

No. She is just a car. A sedan i inherited, yet I still had to pay for. I worked hard to acquire her, and I nearly depleted my bank account fixing her. I used to have a few thousand saved up, not anymore.

I finally enter Debbie. Swing the door open with my left hand. Lift my right leg and climb on into her. That’s what I like to feel.

I turn the music up. Take my pack out of the center console. Lucky is the only one left. So I check the mirror and put Lucky in my mouth. Insert it until the filter is halfway passed my lips.

The final time our lips touched. That was good. You never think it’s the last, although I asked her for one last kiss. It was probably our best, yet there were so many times that I don’t really remember all that well. We were both crying. Our tears slid down our cheeks. Dripped into our cavernous mouths.

Okay, check the mirror, I’m parked parallel. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and quickly jolt her back about halfway. Light Lucky, and I’m off.

The pedal is touching the floor. I don’t know. All I know is I want to get away. I’m not far down the street when I notice some pedestrians staring at me. I stop abruptly, and then pull into reverse a bit, then park in the middle of the street. I jump out of her.

The money is scattered all across the street, while my phone and books are flipped open in the middle of the road. The binding is ripped on one of them. The phone is still alive.

I can’t find all the money for a few seconds but then I do. Meanwhile, a lady in a black dress is staring at me. So I stand there for a good two and a half seconds while I take a drag of Lucky, and stare back at her.

Hop into my Debbie once more. Now there is a car behind me. They think I made an ass out of myself.

So I get out of there real fast. Nobody can drive her like me, and I’d be upset if they did. While turning right, I begin to notice a noise. Something rolling with the turn. There is a bowl in the backseat. I can see it in the corner of my eye.

It’s been rolling back and forth, like a pendulum in accordance to Debbie’s movements. The spoon is laid bare in the open. A foreign object, all alone. At times the bowl rolls over the solitary utensil, reminding it of where it longs to be, but never letting it achieve former happiness. I take a long drag of Lucky, and I drive.

I’m exhausted. Another day of school and work. I can’t wait to collapse onto my bed and dream. Never wanting dawn to come.

I run up stairs and into my room, falling so gracefully. It’s only fifteen minutes after ten, I don’t care.

I just want to dream, so I start off with fantasies, and then let it all drift. I can never tell when I switch between states of being. I can only tell when I am fully immersed, since it’s all too good to be true, and yet I trick myself every time.

I know this now, because instead of haunting me like it did during daylight, the bowl is reunited with the spoon. The utensil is in my hand, while my fingers force it to twirl the broth in her.

I look up and stare into her eyes. Those sunflowers resting against the azure sky. I don’t ever want it to go away. It is only my mind, sitting in this ambiguous, empty setting with her.

That doesn’t really matter. Nothing else matters at this exact moment. This moment that barely exists. This fleeting, arbitrary space, a cafe’ perhaps, but one I’ve certainly never been to in my actual existence.

It’s so empty.

This is how I’m asserting my values. This is the meaning of my existence currently: something I had once taken for granted, and now can only dream about.

Dawn is here, and so I wake up, and start it all over again.

About Sean William Lynch
Sean William Lynch is a poet from New Jersey who was born in 1992. Lynch's first book of poems "the city of your mind" was published in 2013 by Whirlwind Press. Frank Sherlock, the poet laureate of Philadelphia, called Lynch's debut poetry book "visionary." CA Conrad claimed that the book was "marvelous!" S.W. Lynch's writing has been featured in numerous publications online and in print, including Milkfist, Poetry Quarterly, and Tincture Journal.

6 Responses to First Thought, Last Breath

  1. Peruzzi says:

    Narrative displays good development of main character.

  2. reluctantwritergirl says:

    Your writing is intense. I like it! It makes me feel something.

  3. Well thank you, this story may not be as dark as my other writing but it certainly is intense in a more subtle way.

  4. kkline922 says:

    lovely journey. nice images and stream of consciousness.

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