Semi Fiction: Mindnight
He spends the latter part of the evening in thought, the brain invisibly multitasking as the hands and mouth go about rituals so well-practiced it is all on full automatic. It is quiet again, and he remembers the drive back and how his hands trembled at the steering wheel and then the sharp pain as he bit his lip so that he would not be weak then, at least not until he got safely home and alone.
As he washes off today's Present he thinks for a moment, and reaches inside himself to put on a slice of the Past. It's been a long time since he last did that, but tonight there is too much happening to keep inside, and he needs some way to deal with it all. Earlier today he was reminded of something that he'd almost completely forgotten, and for that brief moment he almost lost all of that self control. He managed to not break completely (because there is a time and place for everything) but now, safe in his personal coccoon he is a little less frightened about letting it all wash over him.
He lies down on the bed, eyes wide open. The Past's mantle is like an invisible drape over his body, and he sinks slowly into remembrances of things spoken, deeds done and bits of pieces of lives-that-could-have-been. His breath slows down, and somewhere inside he is reliving a period of his life he rarely mentions these days, or perhaps more accurately tries not to.
If one were to peek at his eyes, the person would see his pupils dilate, contract and move, skittering like a gramophone needle over the vast memory traces he keeps. Today's session is perhaps a little strenous, and there are no dramatics, no musical score or quick cutaway shot to signal a change. He curls up into a ball, and lets out a long, low sigh.
The tears come not long after. There is no measured cadence to them, they are just long, heaving sobs that he struggles to muffle (you know what they're like, the ones that just seem to begin with a huk-huk-huk as your lungs struggle to grasp in more air and then come out in a long whoosh) and as he tastes the salt on his face he remembers everything again.
The memories are always so clear, and like they always do, they end and he is spent, a little sweaty but none the worse for wear. He breathes easier now, because another little part of him has begun the process of mending and he can once again put on the Present. He knows there is a price to pay to continue living within it, and whatever clarity the past minutes bring him it is just a temporary relief. Still, it is a necessary evil, and there are always worse alternatives.
Another day goes by, and he is a little closer to being human again.
In the meantime there is the Present to tend to, and a Future to work for. He sometimes wonders if anything at all in his life would ever turn out at least remotely similar to how he'd imagined it to be (judging from things this far he'd be inclined to say no). He doesn't believe the world owes him anything (since that's an awfully selfish view to take for a species whose lifespans are mere nanoseconds on earth's history) and that any miracles he needs, he'll have to manufacture the old fashioned way -
A little blood, some sweat, and tears.