He couldn’t sleep again. It had been getting more and more frequent that sleep was eluding him. He wasn’t sure if he should see a doctor about it. The idea of sleeping pills made him nervous. They killed Jimi Hendrix. He didn’t want to go out that way either, because it’s never the overdose that kills you. It’s the choking on the vomit. He wanted to go out a little more cleanly, or just as messy with considerably less vomit choking.
He never knew what to do these nights. When he was a teenager he used to just masturbate until he had worn himself out, but the idea of it depressed him, and he wasn’t willing to try it for the benefits. He lay there looking at the ceiling. He could hear his girlfriend’s breathing. She rarely had trouble sleeping. It was a small source of joy to be able to look over and know she’s there, but as it got later in the night, it was just a reminder that everyone is and should be asleep. It made him so lonesome sometimes. Everyone just felt so far away.
He got up. He quietly put his clothes on in the dark, and walked out the door. He thought a walk would do him so good, and, if it didn’t make him sleepy, at least the exercise itself would be a positive. He walked down the streets of his neighborhood looking to see who had their lights still on. There were very few. It was a Thursday. Most people had to get up for work.
On his way back he strolled down the alley behind his house. Suddenly, he felt a rough hand on his shoulder and a sharp point in his back.
“Don’t say a word,” a man’s voice said. “Just give me your wallet.”
“What?” he said. Then he felt the knife enter his back. He fell to the ground. He felt the man take his wallet out of his back pocket, and then heard him run away. The knife had punctured his lung and was making it hard for him to yell to the people inside the apartments. He lied there, bleeding to death and struggling to breathe, and all he could think about were whether it would have been better to choke on his own vomit.