"Damn, that table's annoying!"Pulling himself off the brown pillowed couch of his shadowed condo, Therapy Man attacked the landfill heaped upon his glass-topped dinette set. A week's worth of mail - some half opened, some ignored - clustered around the middle with a 3 day old newspaper unfolded in the middle. Crumbs dotted the table's landscape like shrapnel from a bomb. Lint tinged drops of syrup lingered near the edge of the placemat. Therapy Man could stand this festering wound no more.
With a few final wipes of the paper towel, the wound was healed and Therapy Man was on a roll. He steamrolled through all that dare offend his dwelling. Pity the out-of-place pen or unfiled paper, he dispatched them with ruthless efficiency, bringing order out of the chaos and harmony to his world. Back in the living room, he brought to light a soy candle, filling the room with a soothing aroma. "Now I can rest," mused Therapy Man, and lay back down to a hopeful compensation on the comfy couch.
Yet even with this grand accomplishment, his heart still pounded. Without warning, earlier in the middle of the bright, cold afternoon, he’d lost the sun and the day went black. Dark Terror shrieked in his stomach, begging for release, pleading for the light. Crippled and bent, he limped to his divan, pulling the ever present blanket over his head, hiding from death one more time. All the rope in the world knotted end to end couldn't reach bottom of Therapy Man's hole. He shivered, stuck in a vast, echo-less emptiness.
But he'd mastered his universe now and rewarded himself with the distraction of a hockey game. His sprits lifted when his favorite player scored a goal. Just think, if he hadn't pulled himself together, he'd of missed that in his despair! Therapy Man cursed as the game was tied in the dying seconds but then rejoiced in the ensuing shoot-out victory. All in all, a most delightful diversion. Riding the wave, he picked the phone and called a long distance connection he leaned upon on occasion. He played his happy role well, laughing at the appropriate times, engaging himself in the conversation.
As he hung up the phone, the heat kicked on - the universe was conspiring to comfort him! He'd just needed to let it in the door, fend off demons of defeat and accept the good things he deserved. The river of hope would lead Therapy Man home. He knew all the tips and tricks by now. For tomorrow he resolved to check out the new nature park he’d read about with peaceful views of the lake it encircled. Rewarding himself for his good and socially acceptable behavior, he even piddled around on the internet, heaving heavily on images of Women Unobtainable, arousing his desires.
Standing up satisfied from his office chair at the end of the evening, at that point he knew he’d done all he could do. But instead of a victory march to a hard–earned night’s sleep, Therapy Man stood motionless, inanimate in the darkened room, a statue with no signs of provable life. Then he smiled a wry smile. "Well, that’s that," he confirmed.
Entering his barren bedroom, Therapy Man methodically pulled out the bottom drawer of his dresser and faced his final fate with the revolving of a single loaded chamber.
Life, there is no substitute.