The Hole of Craig
by Maija "DiamonDie" Haavisto
Craig sleeps in late. This could be a Monday, but it doesn't matter. He doesn't have an alarm clock. He wanders to the toilet without flicking on the lights, but he can still see the silhouette in the mirror. It says "metabolic syndrome", but he believes it's just the Remeron. You can tell some things by looking at the mirror, but there are much more of those that don't show up. It makes about as much sense as job interviews.
The bedroom features an ugly brown sofa and a bed too large for him. What could possibly provoke more loneliness than sleeping in a bed twice your size? The bookshelf is stuffed full of books, all that have been read in the past. It's all dusty now with a few fingerprints to suggest human presence. The television exists only for the background noise. He has no more interest in newspapers than they have of him. It's all just a collection of bigger and smaller holes.
The answering machine blinks with a new demand. Not answering it could mean another hospitalization, another set of loonies. This is how they manage his social networks. Craig never dated an inpatient. He has never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend, but he has been very close to getting laid and it's probably better than never having got that far. Not that he has much interest in sex, but he wouldn't mind someone to fill the bed, to make it a little smaller. Why won't they agree to castrate him?
The number of his past hospital stays is fuzzy. There have been so many diagnoses he doesn't remember them all. Every shrink has had a new label, sometimes two. It's easier to list what he doesn't suffer from. He doesn't have ADHD and his thyroid function is normal. Irritable bowel syndrome is one thing he can confirm. It's likely that the origin of the condition is psychosomatic, but no one has been interested enough to find out. This three-letter thing means pizza is banned, but what else would you eat if you were Craig.
Craig's sign is Capricorn, which portrays him as prudent and ambitious with plenty of patience. That doesn't exactly describe him, but the astrological depiction isn't any less accurate than anything else that has been written about him. He is treated as someone, not as Craig. What he is or isn't are just little pieces of the puzzle. Even with the modern technology we cannot see inside the cavity. He knows we are indifferent.
At night Craig swallows four different pills to make him sleep. Despite all these drugs, he still wakes up in the morning. There's often a feeling similar to a hangover even though he no longer drinks. It's difficult to remember which day of the week it is, which month and which time of the year. It's colder in the winter and sometimes he has to turn the heater on, but Tuesdays feel just like Saturdays. If Tuesday and Saturday suddenly changed places, Craig wouldn't be the one to notice.
When Craig dies, he will not be branded as a hero, regardless of having hung around long past his expiry date. He has survived rejections, severe acne and even Effexor withdrawal - not once but twice. He has never been in a fight, he has never impregnated anyone. There is very little proof that he even lived. The childhood photos are now faint and yellow thanks to the cheapskate of a mother who stored her family in cheap plastic. There will be a handful of people in his funeral, but most are there just to confirm that he really existed. There will be no flowers. Who would buy flowers for someone who is dead?