Male 20 +. 196 words. "Counterfeit Breath"  From Into the River.

By Paul Pasulka

It’s true. I threw my bag in. I was gonna follow it. If you haven’t thought it out, you might think that it’s: ‘Jump and you’re dead.’ It’s not that simple. You jump, you sink, but you bob back up. And that is definitely not good, cause what do you do then? God forbid some peripatetic do-gooder like you is around, ‘cause then they feel like they gotta jump in to save you, and you see them swimming toward you, and for a horrible second you think that they just might really see you - the real you - but you know better. So what do you then? Swim away from them? Hold your head under water till you stop fighting yourself?

No. Listen. You have to decide twice. You jump, you sink - Well, that’s just sport, right? - like diving. But the next step? While you’re still under, you inhale. That’s the mother-fucker. That goes against every instinct. But, you are going to kill the pain and the isolation once and for all. And with one counterfeit breath - poof. Ironically, when you are completely alone, loneliness is dead. And Bradley, you gotta know this, if you’re gonna survive.