He sipped a beer, resting his head upon his hands in between gulps. The stench of one hundred different meals reached him even at such a great distance. Different species of fish, meat and vegetables swirled around each other in the heat as if to size one another up before battle. Spices and sauces used to conceal overcooked meat only made matters worse.
But it was better than the all-encompassing calidity of his house, he thought. He would much rather breath in rancid air than suffocate alone in his armchair as he attempted to drown his sorrows in an inebriated stupor.
He stared off into the distance, wishing the darkness could swallow him whole. Instead, he was situated in the heart of the city, lights blinding wherever he dared to look.
If he dared at all.
Even now, he could hear guns firing and spent ammunition shells falling to the ground. He didn’t seem to care, merely continued sipping his way through a six-pack of beer. Desensitization had finally begun to take its toll.
But something soon stirred him from his thoughts. Like a nervous child counting the seconds after lightning forks across a sky, the sound of encroaching rifle blasts could awake anyone from the deepest of daydreams – especially in this neighbourhood.
He didn’t even pause to glance over the wall of his balcony. Instead, he vaulted inside, turning off his lights so that all that could be seen of him were the whites of his eyes.
That night, the darkness did take him. But it was a wholly different darkness.