Bitter Pills

I’ve been forced to take so many bitter pills that they’ve damaged my digestion.

Jobs, degrading jobs. Thirty years of them. Bosses want what they want, and I’ve got to jump and say “yes sir.” People ask for things. They’re called requests but they’re really demands. Do what they ask or there are consequences.

I’m shoved in subway trains. Yelled at for infractions: crossing against the light, using the wrong door, not paying with exact change. Lots of stinging sticks and pathetic insulting carrots. Like the wage increase at work—every decade or so—that only serves to show how much my actual spending power has decreased.

Bit I’ve kept up on people. They may rule my life but I keep track. I find out things and I never forget. I’ve got notebooks. Lists. Descriptions of every slight, every insult, every pain inflicted. Dates, times, descriptions and details of the people responsible.

Life may have been hard, very hard for very long. But in the end, I’ll even the score. We’re approaching the end. It all starts today. The new phase, the final one.

I leave my tiny home, a roach-infested hovel filled with squatters like me. I bring my equipment. I walk I to town with a pleasant smile, just a hint of one, on my slightly grimy face. I’ve shaved off the stubble with a rusty razor I found. I want to look good for this.

Jimmy Hanson, my mean boss, is dead. I didn’t kill him. But I’m visiting his grave this afternoon. Linda Garrison broke my heart a long time ago and she’s dead, too. In the same cemetery as Jimmy. She’s gonna get a visit from me as well. Hal Morgan, with his snide comments, probably thought I’d forgotten him. I never did. He’s also in a plot nearby.

So, now I’m gonna do it. Get the last word at every one of these grave sites. One sugar pill (a placebo), a red rose each and a handwritten note that says simply “I’m sorry.”