Shimmering Light in a Shimmering SoulThe dim light from the street-lamp over the wooden bench was shimmering. About every half minute or so, the light shimmered. The dark street was filled with an overwhelming silence and emptiness, the only signs of life was some cats fumbling in the trash bins and the sound of a car, or a bus, passing by on the highway bridge above the bench now and then.
The light over the bench went out, it was out longer than usual, and when it went on after a few seconds, a man was sitting on the bench. He wore big leather coat and nice suede shoes. It was hard to see what his face was like in the dim light, but one could see that he had marked eyebrows, and a cordial cheek. It was a robust face.
He reached down into his pocket for a cigarette. His hands had blood on them. It had been a long night. The cigarette smoke was easy spottable in the dim light, but the light went out for a glimpse of a second. Now another man was sitting next him.
"Good evening," the newly arrived man said. The man had a thin beard and wore round glasses. He had a grey hat and wore a marine-blue jacket. His face wore signs of age. It was an old man. "You've done it?" the old man asked.
It was quiet for a while; the light shimmered before he answered:
"Yes. They're gone."
"How'd you do it?"
"None of your damned business."
"Fine," the old man said carelessly. "I'm just trying to keep the conversation going."
"Does it look like I want to talk about it?" He was angrier now. It occurred to him now, what he actually had done. He felt broken on the inside, transfixed by regret. And as if the old man knew exactly what he was thinking about he said:
"There's no point in feeling regret. It is normal though. At a certain point you stop up and think to yourself: "I wish I had done it differently" or "I wish I didn't do it at all." I say stop those thoughts. Choke them. They only drive you away from reality. The now is a fact, everything you have done, is done. Whether you like it or not, there is no way to undo it."
The light started shimmering again, and none of them spoke for a while. A car could be heard from the highway above them.
He threw the cigarette on the ground and cleared his throat. The air was cold and hazy. The feeling of regret wouldn't go away. He looked at his hands; they were white and frost-blue with some blood marks on them.
"I've been washing blood of your hands before, kid."
"This is different."
"You know why."
Inside of him a voice told him to pull himself together. He couldn't show to the old man how scared, confused and filled with regret and disorder he was. He closed his eyes and thought for a while and then he cleared his throat again.
"So, you got the ticket?" he said. The old man grabbed something from his pocket and held it up in front of him.
"Good," he said, and noticed that the light had been on without shimmering for quite a while now.
Again it was a long moment of silence.
"Tell me how you feel," the old man said calmly.
"In what way?"
"You need to get going. Can't sit here forever, you got too much to lose." These words filled him with anger, and he turned his head towards the old man and looked him in the eyes for the first time since he sat down.
"I got too much to lose? That's a funny thing to say, considering the fact that I just lost everything!"
"It was your choice."
"Then who's to blame?"
"Shut the fuck up!" He shouted it, and his voice was echoing in the empty street. Some cats were running up the street. Shocked by his sudden outburst, he turned his head around and stared down into the dark.
"A part of me knew you couldn't handle it," the old man now said. "You've always had this conscience of yours. Conscience can be good, but in most cases it's bad. Turns a man into a fucking child."
Not knowing what to respond, he put his hand in his pocket and lit up a new cigarette. The light shimmered for the first time in a while.
The old man and he sat on the bench for a while. No one spoke. There was no need for words right now. The old man broke the silence.
"So, you really did it?"
"You piece of shit."
The light went out. In the darkness a cat subverted a trash bin. But another noise could be heard too. Barely. The light went on, and he was bleeding from his throat. The old man was gone. Once again the light went off, this time forever.