It had taken everything else from him. His feelings began to fade in August of the previous year.
Tiredness bled into torpor, torpor bled into apathy, apathy made him seek help that wasn’t helping. He was leaking. It had taken his wife from him. She left in March of this year.
She couldn’t deal with the lack of emotion and energy that her husband used to be full of. He was running on fumes. It had taken his friends from him. He couldn’t deal with them anymore.
Being around people so full of life began to take its toll on him. He gave them up shortly before his wife left him. He was empty. It had taken his career from him.
He didn’t have the energy to show up anymore. He didn’t have anything left. Depression had taken a vibrant life and drained it of everything that had made it worthwhile. He was good as dead.
At this point, it was only a formality that it should be the death of him. And since it couldn’t kill him in the literal sense of the word, he would have to do that himself.
He’d been contemplating it for the past few months now. The question now was not a matter of do or do not, but the execution of it, ironically enough.
He didn’t trust himself enough with knots to hang himself. He hadn’t the drive to go purchase a gun. Poison was too cliché. He couldn’t cut himself, he hated blood.
He would jump, but he couldn’t stand heights.
A train would do it, though. The thundering of steel at high noon, the shrill shriek of the steam horn, the raw power of ungodly machine, it all seemed morbidly attractive.
He would have described it as a type of romantic if he had the feelings to find the words. He had found his end.
And so it was settled: he would sacrifice the last of himself to the condition that had taken the rest of him.
He put on his Sunday best for his final hurrah. When they found his body he wanted it to look good. At least, that’s what the real him would have wanted.
If he could have watched himself, would the real him have been happy, though?
Two years ago, the real him never would have imagined that he would go down like this, a prisoner of his own life, a victim of his own mind.
If he was really going to do this, he had to stop thinking like that. Conviction was what he needed of himself right now. He was going to pull the trigger.
The rails were surprisingly cold for early September. The trees on either side of the tracks had just begun to shed their leafy vestiges in a snow of orange and red.
Perhaps it was appropriate that the forest around him was accompanying him in his demise. As they slowly died, so would he. In the spring, they would come back.
What had really brought him so low? In the days before his demise, he would have said that he began to feel numb in August of last year. In the hours before his demise, he wasn’t so sure.
Had he always been this cold on the inside? His life wasn’t flashing before his eyes like in the overly dramatized stories he liked to read. It melted before his eyes.
His first memory of youth was inseparable from his memory of last night’s dinner.
The first sign of the incoming train was the buzz he felt on his head. A light vibration that might have been pleasant if he remembered what pleasant was.
The light vibration slowly and methodically became an incessant rattle. His heart fluttered with the frequency of pulsating rails.
If he remembered what to call it, he would have recognized this feeling as anxiety. His stomach churned like the bouncing gravel under the tracks.
His thoughts were brought to a rolling boil as his blood pressure shot through the roof. He was nervous.
What came after the train hit him? He didn’t let himself believe in a god.
Would it be blackness? Would it be peaceful? Painful? Immediate? Eternal? He lacked the answers to the questions he had; this wasn’t the best location to ponder life’s mysteries.
Or was it? He hadn’t felt this alive in his whole life. His whole body was quaking with an unnatural tension that frightened him.
How could he let himself die when he felt so far from death? He had doubts.
Was this actually what he wanted to do? The rattle from moments before became a thunder in less time than he would have liked.
The train was fast approaching and he was frozen in place, his head stuck to the frigid rails, cold sweat pouring from his burning being as his death charged down upon him.
Something from within him screamed. He was afraid. He was scared to die.
A last thought before impact, a deathbed confession to eternity: He didn’t want to die.