Into Dust

Oliver Conrad Davis was a loser, and everyone he had ever met knew it. Not that he was such an appalling character that he was utterly hated, although that might have been a step up from what he was. At least if people despised him, they would feel strongly about him in some way. As it was, his existence was simply acknowledged, never contemplated or appreciated in any way.

No one intentionally placed him in the space in their hearts reserved for unimportant things, but it was his very nature that put him there in every case. He was just a loser; no one could explain it, he simply was. He wasn’t particularly ugly, but neither was he recognizably handsome; he had a face so forgettable that people subconsciously forgot what he looked like between blinks as they stared at his face. He wasn’t known to have any skills, and nor was he spectacularly horrible at anything. No one would admit out loud that they believed he had no potential, but ninety-nine percent of the people who met Oliver had that very opinion of him. Those cursed with caring hearts and empathetic souls would adamantly oppose the thought that he was devoid of potential, but none of them could think of any way in which he displayed any whatsoever. They refused to believe he was such a useless lifeform, despite the fact he may have been the most pointless being to ever draw breath.

Oliver worked hard at a bone-wearying job, six days a week, making almost enough to dream of a comfortable lifestyle, but never finding that it was within reach. Every time he found he had a couple nickels to rub together, something in his life would fall apart. Occasionally the crumble would be cataclysmic, but generally, it was just enough of a tumble to keep him locked in his place in life, just shy of suffering, never quite comfortable, far from thriving, never dying.

If he thought about it, it felt as if the universe had been half-heartedly trying to kill him from the second he had been conceived. His mother had cancer, and that cancer nearly took him while he was still in the womb. nearly. He had been a somewhat sickly child; not dangerously sickly, just mildly weak and relatively pale. These traits were still mostly true of him in his adult life. He had lived a rather violent young life, finding himself of the action end of more than a few angry fists. Continuing into adulthood, his “unnecessary” organs had all conveniently failed. None of these infections or surgeries killed him, obviously, but they kept him laid up for a significant amount of time. Seriously, who has their tonsils, gallbladder, one kidney, appendix, and spleen all stop working during the course of their lifetime, and still remain above ground?

So it was that he continued every day, mostly existing, not really living, wishing he could muster up the courage, and quite frankly, the energy, to face death on his own terms. For some reason, he kept waking up and going about his mundane life, day after wasted day. He contemplated suicide rather often, but could never bring himself to hate himself enough to terminate the drain on the world that was his living body. Even Oliver didn’t really have strong opinions about Oliver.

He woke, went to work, went home, mindlessly watched tv, and went to bed, only to repeat the process again and again. Nothing brought him joy, nothing stirred his mind, nothing made him want to live. His entire life was one long shrug of the shoulders. He knew that was possibly the greatest tragedy in existence, but being the most forgettable man who ever lived, even he could not bring himself to care. Were these things true of any other being, it would be heartbreaking; since it was just this loser, it didn’t really matter. He wasn’t affected by his own life, why would anyone else bother to be affected by it?

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