Shawny was in a terrible accident when he was five. Doctors made many remarks to his parents that is was ‘a miracle’ that he survived. His precious little body rolled under the tire of a garbage truck in what was known to be a horrific sledding accident. Although crushed and mangled, after months of life support, surgery, casting, and years of rehabilitation he grew to be an adult with many ghastly scars and a slight limp.
Shawny is what you would call a good person. He does not lie, steal, or cheat. He makes a conscience effort to avoid manipulating people and can clearly articulate his feelings to other human beings. His face has a horrible scar that runs diagonally across all of his features. He is regardless, quite handsome. Because of the years of rehabilitation, he is adept at maintaining his physique, motivated by an enduring thankfulness for his own life.
His parents are proud of him. His wife is doting. His friends and co-workers, due to his angelic demeanor, adore Shawny. Shawny is an excellent water polo player and horse trainer.
Shawny sits on the edge of his bed one morning. It is early. The sun has not yet risen. Shawny is thirty one years old. His wife is breathing shallowly behind him, sleeping rather restlessly. Although Shawny is generally proud of the man he has become, he has small momentary bouts of depression. He fills his lungs and holds the air until there is a slight tinge of pain. Shawny’s knuckles turn pale as he grips the blanket on the end of the bed. Overwrought with the feeling that his life is an incidental coincidence, that it may very well be someone else’s life he is living, Shawny slowly lets out the breath he has been holding. This feeling he had kept a secret. It was irrational and pervasive, something that occurred to him at some point in his childhood when he realized how close he had one been to not existing at all. It swelled from time to time, rousing him from sleep or suddenly killing his appetite. He would sit somewhere when this happened and imagine what kind of person deserved the life he lived. Often he imagined a Nobel Prize winner or an Olympic gold medalist, but this morning, Shawny imagines a wretch. She is younger than him, roughly 23. She is quiet, reserved, often coming across as a prude in certain public settings. She is a woman, thin in areas, and horrifically curvaceous in others. A woman whose body and actions are paralleled in their sexual exploits. This woman he imagines is crass and selfish, unyielding and unlovable. She smells of cigarettes and a cheap rose water perfume, which she used to cover up the smell of sex that follows her. This woman, or maybe girl is the proper word, is manic and has a tendency to control others without thought or concern. She has self-destructive qualities but not self-destructive enough to rid the world of her waste of a presence. She is a grotesque example of life. Shawny trembles at the thought of the imagined woman who very well could have been scrambling about the world he held in such tender regards.
Again Shawny sighed. He looked back at his wife and smiled a forced crooked smile. Shawny felt motivated to continue to be alive.