stories, Writings

The Stained Man – a short story


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It’s a solemn morning for the man who is busy pouring his coffee down the drain.
He is mad, for all he can see is the stain, the stain on his white shirt which, in his mind, represents his life.
He mutters to himself as he watches the rain trickle down the window pane; “I’m nothing but a stain on a white shirt. A blob that no one likes, something that sticks out and can’t be left unnoticed. A freak in a heap of normalities, stiletto heals and formalities.”
He makes no attempt to wash it off, instead he unbuttons the shirt, letting his belly hang out over his suit-pants and tosses it on the floor. The phone rings and reveals the name of the person calling, “Samantha Miller”.
“Not today Samantha. Not today,” he whispers as he puts his phone into sleep-mode.
What Samantha, his boss of 15 years, doesn’t know is that Bob Litter has remained by his sink, overlooking the apartments in front of him, for 2 hours. Ever since he mindlessly stained himself with coffee he has been standing there, contemplating, letting his workshift start without him for the first time in, well, 15 years.

“Bob the Blob”
“Hey Bob, did you litter yourself?!”
“Bobby the Flobby!”
“Bob the Sob”
“Litter is Bitter!”
He acts it out, imitates the voices of the past and the now, all the disgraceful nicknames that have poured over him throughout his life, in school, at work, at camp. Samantha says they are uttered from his co-workers with love and sarcasm, that they would never have done it if there were an ounce of seriousness to them. He finds that hard to believe.
He is fat, he is bald and he has dark circles around his eyes, hanging like bags of the sickly skin which a nearly dead elderly person acquires.
“They are right. Somehow they’ve made me believe it. Turned me into it. Turned me into the stain I never knew I was. I will die anyway, might as well get on with it. When death seems more fun than life, it has to be the right choice, right?”
No one will answer him, for he has no confidants, he has no wife, no husband, no children, no friends, no living family, except from a cousin he’s never met, he is alone. In retrospect I can see how it happened, that he involuntarily chose loneliness, he let others get to him and beat him down inch by inch. He lost his fighting-spirit when his long-sought-after ex had a miscarriage and she left him. It was during the time when he still had hair, was less fat and had just landed his job as a banking official, when life was fun.

He picks up the white shirt with a coffee-stain on it and puts it on again.
“I should die as the stain I am,” he says a he laughs and sobs, laughs and sobs in a spectrum of indecisive emotions.
His index finger reaches around the trigger of the gun that has been lying in front of him since he went to get it just after the stain arose. He is disturbed by the flashing light from his phone, it reads “Samantha Miller”. He takes the gun and shoots the phone, two shots, glass flying, metal cracking, one shot, Bob is dead, blood flying, no one is crying.

It actually pains me, as death, to see this. What a lonesome soul, what a beautiful mind that so few got to get to know. What I know though that Bob didn’t know, is that Samantha Miller called him, not to bark at him for being late but for getting the door code to his housing estate.
For outside his whole team of banking officials awaited him to leave for work. How wonderful they looked in their suits, party-hats and colorful helium-balloons. Today was Bob’s 64th birthday. Wait, something is happening. The police has knocked down Bob’s door, Samantha Miller has called them in sheer concern for the man who has never been late for work.

The police finds the man on the floor in his kitchen, seemingly floating on a stain of blood.

– J

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