Thanatos in Winter

Adrift in his own tumultuous sea, Darren staggered through the crowds. Rosy faces puffed clouds of contented condensation, all seeing but not noticing. Gaeity blared from the display windows, toys, clothes, tools, and assorted finery—the accoutrement of life in the burgeoning modern age.

To him, they meant so little.

Will or perhaps direction lacking, he stopped, eyes lazily fixed on a display of fur muffs and hats far too poofy to be worn by reasonable people. Shoulders, bags, and that nagging Winter wind buffetted him at all sides, not that he noticed. Reality faded and shrank to his own aching body and the careful consideration of a mannequin’s decorative broach.

Tears came. Snot coursed. Without a sign of shame or acknowledgment he wet himself. If anyone else noticed, they made no outward sign of it. Slowly he ceased to exist in any meaningful way, collapsing in on himself to become a shell, a pallid vessel for regret, self-loathing, and an apathetic acceptance of death’s soon due arrival.

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