Two weeks. It passed like water torture. Sam remembered being a kid once, dropping ketamine in the mall because when you’re young and stupid, what else are you going to do? Try and have a good trip? No, of course not. You’re going to act on whatever stupid impulse comes to your mind, and that’s how you end up staggering around a mall sliding in and out of a k-hole, convinced the other patrons are zombies, the Romero kind, slow slow slow, but you’re even slower somehow.
That was two weeks without Ralph. Slow, slow, slow. Trying to escape from monsters that weren’t really there, but your brain is too fucked up to accept otherwise. There were no zombies, but every other person in the subway system became a slithering sliding creature. They stared at him alternately distastefully and hungrily. He wanted to say, No, no, I am not meat, I am not slime, I am a human being with human needs, but instead he just muttered under his breath and kept to himself and was left alone.
It was just as well, he supposed. He’d never been one for human interaction. If he had been, he wouldn’t have spent his teens and his twenties in a narcotic haze. He never would have gone underground. He never would have turned to a bird for companionship. Human interaction was just something he’d never really wanted.
The truth was, Sam didn’t want much of anything these days. He spent his days aimlessly riding back and forth, and in the moments where he was outside of a subway car, he looked longingly at the tracks. So quick. So efficient. He had some small measure of sympathy for those who would be inconvenienced by his decisions, but not much. They wouldn’t be his problem. Nothing would ever be his problem.
Tomorrow, he told himself. Tomorrow.