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Friday, February 25, 2022

Microstory 1830: Extreme to the End

I am an adventurer. I like going to the most extreme places on Earth, and participating in the most extreme sports. I kayak on rapids, and run marathons, and even learned how to dance fight. That last one wasn’t especially dangerous, but it wasn’t sitting at home on your couch either, let me tell you that. I’ve climbed the highest mountains, and dove the deepest oceans. If I’m not risking my life, I’m not happy. I can’t say how many times I’ve been seconds or centimeters away from death, but I like to tell people that that is my comfort zone. One day, I thought it could eventually get me, but if the story is crazy enough, my legacy will live on without me. Until then, living on the edge makes me feel alive, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. That’s why I’m so disappointed in myself right now. I did all these things, and expected to die from something amazing, but that’s not what’s happening. It’s so boring, and pathetic, and embarrassing. I would say I’ll never get over it, but that’s an understatement, because this is it. Someone is going to find me like this, and that will be my entire story. They won’t talk about the time I ran with the bulls, or when I swung over the streets like a certain red and blue costumed hero, from one building to another. That one landed me in jail, and it was my proudest moment. My fan base grew, like, a thousand percent that day. I can’t bear to lose them. I know—again—I’ll be dead anyway, but that shouldn’t mean they all start making fun of me. They should continue to watch my stuff, and talk about me. They should flip off their mothers once she closes the door behind her after scolding them for watching those dumb videos. They should aspire to be me no matter what.

I slipped in the shower, how pitiful is that? I was just trying to step out when I lost my balance, and knocked my head against the porcelain. I don’t mind dying, but not like this, dammit! I struggle to grab my phone from the vanity. It falls right into the toilet. I didn’t bother buying something rugged or waterproof, because I’m not about that virtual life. I live in the moment, in the real world. It’s dead, and I don’t have any other way of reaching out for help, which means the end is near, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. But maybe I can make it a little better. Maybe I can die as I lived, like a freakin’ badass that people look up to. I turn the water back on, and shove the blood down the drain, but it just keeps leaking from my head. But it has to stop at some point, right? No one can know that it started here, or the ruse won’t work. It’s still coming? Seriously!? This isn’t fair! I’ll wrap a towel around it to keep it from dripping on the floors. Must. Get. To. The. Window. This is gonna work. It’s a foolproof plan. They’re gonna find me on the pavement, and they won’t know why I did it, but they’ll call me a hero. Because I am a hero. I crawl across the tiles, onto the hardwood floors of the hallway, and then onto the carpet of the guest bedroom. Some blood does drip from the towel, so I wipe it up with my hand, and keep going. Yeah, I’m not leavin’ a trail. This is definitely gonna work. It’s getting harder to move, but it’s not much farther now. Damn, the window is locked, and I’m getting woozy. I don’t think I can figure out how to open the latch in this state. It’s too complicated. Why do they make windows so complicated? That’s all right. Better even. Going through the glass will just make me look awesomer. I get to my feet, and slam my head against it. It cracks, but doesn’t shatter. I strike it again. It breaks, but not all the way. One more time...and I’m free. Oh, wait, no. I live on the first floor.

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