Guided By My Own Troubled Heart … by Mark McConville

Guided By My Own Troubled Heart


Her stomach used to be my pillow, an abdomen thin, but it helped me sleep. I had trouble sleeping before I met her in a bar. Both of us were poisoning her bodies that night, drinking shots and betraying our livers. She had a smile warmer than the side of the sun, and lips softer than youthful skin. That night, we claimed we’d run away, battle the onslaught of family values and search for an apartment in an avenue bursting with grandiosity and enlightenment. Of course, our strategic plans decayed into nothingness. Desire and optimism died, the direct impulse in our hearts to better ourselves toiled.

No master plan, no route to empowerment. Inside us monsters grew, we fell into a tug of war, and the entire world seemed to be crashing down. Under all the debris of scattered photographs and written letters, I’d lay, thinking about the future, the horizon which seemed extremely bleak. I woke to find her gone, and I fell into alcoholism, drinking heavily and partaking in shoddy crimes. Stealing from local stores, selling drugs on the side, carrying guns for the insane, and thinking about how to create honest, brighter, prospects.

At one moment, I’d thought about ending this stretch on earth. My thoughts and feelings weren’t as razor-sharp as they once were, and the world had become like a ball everyone was waiting to kick the shit out of. I’d sit under the bridge and drink and mock heaven, ridicule its angels and its leader. I’d scream and shout about tyranny and how this once thriving town had gone to the dogs. More so than not, I’d sleep in the frost, under this bridge of dead hope, waking up with a hangover and dread nipping at my mind.

This town knew its limitations, and I knew mine. But on one night, fate had raised its stakes. Any goodness left in me had to be removed, thrown to the monster that lived inside my battered mind. I received a phone call from the godless; the man deemed the front-runner of oppression. A man who spearheaded every dirty thing that happened in this town. Not only was he the director, the seedy superior, but he was a killer. He killed many people and diluted the power of innocence.

Guided by my own troubled heart, I walked steadily through a park which had vigor and beauty embedded in its roots. But as I strolled through it, I’d see its rot, its decline. It needed a regeneration, rejuvenation and kindness instilled into its foundations. People also slept there, singing songs of failure, drinking from paper-bags, highlighting their flaws for all to see. And the park had become a dark, polluted snapshot in my mind. My tired eyes still saw the heart of it be claimed by the degenerates, though. And it depressed me, struck a bone, and utterly destroyed any good feelings I had left.

The house was brightly lit, but there was no noise. Silence fell as the rain cascaded from the brutal skies. I observed, scanned the exteriors of the home. I drifted towards it and removed my gun. There was a smell of burnt food wafting towards me. Through the vegetation I walked. I opened the back door and went into the brightly lit kitchen. Sitting on the seat next to the table was a young child. I stared into her young eyes, she never whimpered. Thankfully.

When I looked at the young child, I derailed. My thought process unraveled. I couldn’t pull the trigger and kill the woman who gave birth to an innocent, helpless, young human being. My heart belted, flashbacks of yesteryear stormed my head. I turned around to leave until I heard a scream.

I turned back, and all feeling left my body. She’d only changed the colour of her hair. The gun fell from my grasp, and she gazed into my soulless eyes.

‘’Wait’’

She stood in a hopeless state, weeping to the angels I ridiculed. Her impeccable expressions turned serious.
‘’What are you trying to do?’’

I didn’t know anymore. I often disengaged from all feeling. But I couldn’t at that moment. It was me, a small innocent being and her in a small kitchen bathed in striking light.

‘’Go, please go’’

Had she forgotten me, had I dreamt her up, was this all a dream??

I picked up the gun as the phone went.

Before I answered I told her to move into the corner of the room with the child.

I fired the gun at the wall…

I said in a commanding tone to the man on the other end of the call.

‘’It’s done’’