7.14.2010

He thought the train’s destination, about the city, about excess. He thought about how much a man can handle – how much coffee he could ingest before the caffeine shook his core, how long he could stay awake before the impulses of his body finally overtook his mind, how many men he could meet before he could no longer remember their faces. He thought about overdose, the dizzy spells he got from too much liquor and what would happen to him if he didn't stop. If he didn’t follow his breathing exercises or if he didn’t guzzle glass upon glass of water or if he didn’t stuff his face with bread but instead continued to swig, would he die? Or if instead of having just one cigarette in a sitting he chain-smoked pack after pack until he was dizzy and then nauseous and then couldn’t breathe? Maybe it will all be the death of me, he thought, a joint effort by each of my habits. A combination of one too many refills of soda, an extra mile walked at night, too many words spoken; when not just one thing would kill him but the build-up of them all. The coroner wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the cause of death. “He died of lifestyle,” they’d tell his family. “He died of his own behaviour.” Best beware, he supposed.

He would take pleasure in the moderate, he imagined, once he got to the city.

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