Midwinter Midnight
     Mack Magers

     “I don’t really know what’s left
for me,” he said bitterly.
     “Yeah you do, you’re going to
go home, you’re going to get some sleep,
you’re going to make it through this,”
I said putting my arm around him.
     He fell to his knees. He always
seemed tense, like he was walking
under more pressure than the rest of us.
This collapse wasn’t drug induced,
though he was on drugs. It was
too much, his mind and his body
and his legs couldn’t hold the pressure.
We were in a dark alley,
a shortcut to my house. He was leaning
against a building.
     “Adam, get up.” I put my hand
underneath his armpit and tried to encourage
him to his feet. He tried to get
his placement but fell onto the sidewalk
sobbing. I could feel it
starting to eat away at me.
These lives we lived, is this
what our parents did? Spiral in multiple
directions, basking up other people’s lives?
It was like we were
all put on this hill to keep falling down.
     Start taking more and more,
     wounds trying to keep the wounds
     from bleeding out.
     His hands were shaking in front
of his face. I sat him up so he was
sitting on the curb, his back against
the building. He kept his hands to his chin
for a minute as if he had forgot who he was with

then slowly pulled his hands away,
putting down the barrier men like us
tried to put up to block out
the rest of the world. As if we
weren’t real people, we tried to block
the hurt like we were never really
hurt but everything we did
was to block the hurt we felt.
I sat there with him
taking the flask from my jacket
and chugging the rest
of the whiskey down. I lit a boge
and passed it to him, lighting another for myself.
     “Fuck ‘em,” I said bitterly.
     “Huh?” he asked.
     “Fuck them all,” I said with hatred. 
     For he understood what I meant
and we sat there in silence isolation and hate
but we sat together which is what
kept us swinging from our feet
gasping struggling and fighting for our next breath.

 

Mack Magers was the co-founder and co-owner, along with Jake Weightman, of the clothing company Grim Garden LLC. He also worked as a barista and a private investigator. In his free time, he enjoyed skateboarding and reading, especially the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Sean Bonney. He passed away at the age of 24 on December 5, 2019.