I wonder if this will be the smoke that kills me, he thinks to himself as his lights up a cigarette. He pulls hard on it and the molten red tip glows brightly in the dingy bar. Far from illuminating the darkness, the small spot of red light at the tip of the cigarette actually emphasises the shadows and despair in the bar.
He nods at the barman and another cold beer appears before him.
I wonder if this will be the drink that kills me, he thinks to himself as he takes a long sip of the beer. The cold condensed water droplets on its outside slip between his rough hands as the crisp, cold liquid slides down his throat.
Time slips by and before he knows it, the cigarette is only ash and the beer is only an empty bottle. He is only slightly tipsy, if anything at all. It is actually disappointing, but he reminds himself that he is used to that feeling. He sighs and looks at the time. It getting late, so he decides to head home.
I wonder if this will be the man that kills me, he thinks to himself as he stumbles a bit up a step and bumps a tattooed figure playing darts.
The man turns around and checks that he is alright. He nods and smiles, and the tattooed man apologises before going back to the game of darts with a number of other tattooed characters of varying degrees of art.
In the parking lot outside the bar, he gets into his car. A soft frost covers his windscreen as the cold of the old leather seat bites into him through his pants. He turns the key and the engine roars to life with a guttural growl, the lights flare up, the heat comes on and the radio starts playing some song with a mournful lady’s voice droning into it.
I wonder if this will be the road that kills me, he thinks to himself as he pulls out of that parking lot into the slipstream and merges with the traffic on the way home. There are flowing lights all around him. Cars pass and lanes merge and diverge, buildings and billboards fly by as an eternity of fast moving metal, concrete and steel surround him in this moving movement.
But he gets home, safe and sound. He parks the car and walks up the stairs of the apartment into his flat.
He yawns and drops into his bed. Before long he begins drifting off to sleep. The day, some childhood memories and even more abstract, alluvial images begin fluttering through his mind.
I wonder if this will be the sleep where I–he begins wondering, but never finishes his internal dialogue. He drifts off to a deep, dreamless sleep filled with darkness, doubt and doom.
And it will only be the next day–after breakfast and during the rush hour in traffic–in the crowded subway that the terrorist’s bomb explodes next to him killing him. Ironically, he will not see it coming.