Flash Fiction: Glory Days

by Chris McGinty

Slipping back into unconsciousness, he started to dream of the past when he was stronger, better looking, healthier. He had no interest then in trading youth for wisdom, and he had no interest to do so now. He would give anything to go back to his younger years. He could make better choices with his career. He could save more money. Make better choices in his romantic relationships. And friends. He could find better friends.

The dream was nice. He didn’t know that there was a terrible life to wake up to, because the dream was all consuming. It was bliss at the same time as it was ignorance. There was no evidence of how poorly everything had gone or how much he screwed up his life. It was only the sleep and the dream. It was the best parts of his life being relived and enjoyed.

His childhood riding bikes, swimming, watching Saturday morning cartoons. His teenage years playing football, school dances, girls, alcohol, weed. Even his marriage was good at first until she told him to grow up. She never understood.

There was something wrong. The dream was too good. He wasn’t living through the divorce, through the job uncertainty, through the need that drove him to spend all his money. It certainly wasn’t showing him the choice to use tonight. He had no way of knowing that most of all it wasn’t incorporating the chaos going on around him in his former waking life, like the screaming and the chest compressions, and certainly not one of his ribs cracking, because the junkie performing the compressions didn’t know what he was doing. It was all for the best. He spent the last half of his life wishing he could relive the first and here in this overdose fueled dream, he could live it out for the last few minutes.

Leave a Reply