Splattering slush in his wake felt no less than walking on hot coals. His demise could be secured in the next passing minute. A car riding on the side of the street, running into the hydrant he passed to round the corner, edging him out to be stuck under the burning wheel. A figure just five paces to his rear, willing to run up on him with plea for his money, while poking the tip of a blade or nozzle of a gun into his side. He probably deserved it. He deserved all and anything that was coming to him. It was the balance of karma, so he believed. What he did or didn't do, created interference of thinking sharply like he once had. The New Year didn't grant him much clarity; neither did the air he thought to walk into after being holed up in his brother's apartment. The kid seemed concerned.
Someone else did, maybe they shouldn't have, and Nathan didn't want anyone to waste their thoughts on him. Not when he contemplated of walking into traffic one time, just to test his fate. To make sure that he didn't have extra lives tucked around like the other times he faced checking out. The light was a bright one from memory. Lying on his back, half way mangled by wreckage after being thrown off his bike, never left. Fighting for his life many years after that, being left for dead when walking into a trap, never grew weak in memory. Someone saw the point of living and where death was soon to follow. He felt it follow him like a shadow. Like the fears, dreams, and nightmares that awaited him once he rested his head against the pillow.
Sleep would be a deciding factor of whether he'd become part of his torturous round of chess. All played along with himself as he slowly tried to gather the wits about him. Nathan's trail was behind. Footfalls leaving messy imprints in a sidewalk hardly cleaned after a measly winter mix. Parts of his steps were icy, like the coldest part of him. The part he was unfamiliar with but very well knew in a different setting. That was the part he had feared and was uncertain where it would take him if acceptance were in place. Hands tuck snuggly into his coat's pocket after tugging down securely on a wool cap.
Face remained unseen by the help of a scarf, still unsure where his walk would lead him as he stepped further away from the place he hid out for most of the week. News sources replayed in his head. The sound bites of murder, robbery, and family connections, deeply stuck with him. Her, the woman he cared for at some point in his lousy life, had been connected to it. Indirectly or directly, his unsure ideas never gave him the chance to the truth, but he knew what he saw at the start of the week. He understood what pieces were left for him to pair together.
And he decided not to. It was great risk to see things he tried to build for him, crumble right in his palm. As it seemed like all things good he touched, rotted, poisoned by his existence and all that involved him. Nathan's clouded mind was in the midst of a fog, a deep obscure mass unable to clear for passage to the truth. He carried it where he walked, as it was certain he was a killer. The grim reaper walking along the streets of Boston, all for the cost of something he couldn't touch currently but would have access to once he returned home to figure out the clues. This sense of aimless walking went beyond than going for some air.
It traveled through daybreak when night had its chance for reign in the hours of rest. He knew of breaking away, causing the imbalances to shift to one side. A glimpse of the dark side was seen in other's eyes. The blackest pit where it was the entrance to the soul was long gone. Corrupted by forces dating back through youth and being products of the environment around them. Cutthroats that ran small circles to the bigger fish that found ways to seek the prey they lived on to survive. There was a special place for them. He didn't see the difference of fitting in or not.
His place was somewhere though. His definite calling hidden behind layers of life experiences that made sense to him long ago, and now, as things changed for what could be a bad thing, weren't so clear. Being on his lonesome was easy and the most difficult at best. Refuge in people became dangerous, as he wasn't clear on trust in the first place, not with what was in his head. Not when he could be looked at as a walking degenerate out for blood. And blood was what he saw a lot of when his eyes closed. Blood, the shock in the eyes, even the begging for a chance as taker of life hung on the edge of truth he couldn't stand next to knowing.
The first sickness slipped away and a different ailment was waiting to embrace him if he let it. Slowing down his steps on the trail, he broke time for a cigarette, opening himself to the chill elements to inhale slowly. A light flickered off, bringing life to the cigarette before letting lips hold on. He pulled on inhale, siphoning what would kill him one day. He hoped it was emphysema, cancer even, which took him out, rather by the hands of a faceless person, who would scratch him off.
Pacing near the lamppost, darkness was near when the light above flickered on. He had timed himself, being away for more than an hour. More drags were taken, enjoying the brief exchange. He picked up his walking again, not direct in knowing if he would return to his previous destination or continue until he was at another level of exhaustion. Some deaths were slow like the burning of his cigarette. Like the way he felt he would go. Then it was quick, often disposing of suffering when the brisk decision to take could be made. Nathan would find his place, possibly sooner than pushing for later, but not without the echo of the passing weeks haunting him in his steps.