“Shot at the Night” by The Killers from Direct Hits
The apartment is a mess of thrown clothes and overturned furniture. On the floor lies a shirtless man who is shuddering and sobbing out the last bits of a good cry. This is KYLE. KYLE sits up, still gulping for a air a bit and wipes his tears with the back of his hand.
KYLE (mumbling to himself)
Can’t believe it. Can’t believe he’s…
KYLE stops speaking, shakes his head as though shaking away the thoughts and focuses his eyes on the audience. He’s silent for a moment before speaking.
KYLE (his voice started quiet and still a little strangled with post-crying, growing steadily in stability and volume)
You ever felt as though maybe the life you’re leading is a mistake. An error. Not that you’re better or above what you have now just that you’d be better at a different kind of life.
I feel like that all the time. All the time.
He pulls his knees into his chest and rest his forearms across them.
Well, not literally of course. But often. Often is a fair away of putting it.
To be clear, I don’t think I’m owed more. I don’t think society or life or the universe owes me something different. I just feel like…like I was intended for something else. Like Loki said, “I am burdened with glorious purpose.” Except I have no idea what mine is
There are moments. Sometimes they’re so brief they’re gone before I realize it, but there are moments when I can feel myself touch something.
KYLE stands and begins to sort out the room. He pantomines what he’s saying a bit as he moves throughout the space.
Something there but not. And it floods me. It stretches me, expands me. And for that moment, I can feel it. I can feel that other path. It’s so close I can sense the heat and friction of it on my fingertips. It feels as though I might just explode with the energy coursing through me.
And then, it’s over. And I’m just Kyle again. Just another actuarial. I’m the round peg wedged brutally into that square hole.
But I know I’m meant for something else. Something that’s no better or worse than what I have now but will be better because it is the path for me. I know it’s out there, I can hear its hum.
I know it. I know.
Goes silent. He walks to the window and looks out it as if he spotted something and then his head drops forward.
But I can’t figure out how to get there.
KYLE’s voice grows louder and a bit more agitated. Not over the top but audibly more wound up, frustrated.
See, the thing is, where I grew, it was volatile. Unstable. Not reliable. So I became ultra-steady. Totally reliable. An earthquake would happen and I’d hardly move. Which was great then, but terrible when you need to change. By becoming someone who never overreacts, I. Never. Overreact. And to push against the tide of this life, you to overreact. You need to explode of the blocks. But I can’t. Because that’s not me.
Pauses. Voice drops to baseline once more.
And so I stay here. And I wait for those brief glorious moments when the universe opens up and I glimpse it, that one thing that’s mine, that’s meant for me. And I hope the next time I grasp it in the palm of my hand, not just brush my fingertips against it.