Sanity's Flaw: An Excerpt

Since I've been keeping busy editing and obsessively following bestseller rankings, I figured it would be prudent to share a never-before-seen excerpt from Sanity's Flaw, now available exclusively on Amazon Kindle platforms.

Please enjoy.

I started the second day off by trying to kill myself.

I really shouldn’t have. Really. It’s not how I want to die. Maybe I just didn’t know that then.

My plan was to jump in front of a train. Just launch myself out there. Get flattened. Smear my blood across the tracks. But did you ever notice the smell of that place? Grand Central? I couldn’t even get past it. I feel like it’s still stuck in my nostrils, permanently coated on some hair. And it’s nothing like the lime-scented ozone they pump into this cell. It’s more… well, it’s a very particular aroma, actually. Rather putrid. And certainly not easily forgotten. Yet I can’t quite narrow it down to a precise definition, can I? It’s not a bodily smell or musk. It’s definitely not an odor from the decrepit trains, rusted tracks, or the electricity flowing through them. No. No, I think the only way I can give it justice is by calling it a secretion. Yes. A secretion. A secretion chokingly wafting in every direction. A gruesomely sickening secretion from inane zombies trudging along toward their daily dose of monotony. Yes.

And that’s just the smell of the place. It really is so much more than that. It’s an honest-to-God human migration. A poorly choreographed dance of suited men and women coalescing into a working mob, pushing as one through ever-revolving doors and just as quickly parting ways like blood cells from an open wound.

And there were others those in their mad dash toward freedom from their own stench never even turned their clean-shaven faces toward. Men and women, boys and girls, cats and dogs, sitting or standing amidst the executive tango with their faces contorted in astonishment and awe. The kind of looks you pity caged animals with.

I noticed them, though. I noticed them all. Poring over every nuance of their bodies, cataloguing the details, drawing every hint of difference from the air still tainted with white-collar putridity. There was the boy who, unbeknownst to his mother standing just feet away yet who had not cast a glance toward her child as I watched, dug deep within the recesses of his nose, pulling out what could’ve only been the largest booger ever seen by his bugged eyes and which, with a look of frozen panic, he tactfully smeared against the rough wall in full confidence no one had seen his accomplishment. There was the woman—no, I recall there were several women in fact—who, as a gentle play for those looking admirably in their direction, calmly adjusted tightly-fitted bras, supple breasts gently bouncing as smiles crept across their knowing faces.

Sorry if they’re no longer around. But they are for me. Right here, right in this head.

Oh, there was a dog too, a mutt of shaggy gray and brown, that, as its owner browsed departure times, longingly cast a gazing stare toward the wintry air. I hoped he was picturing a hydrant outside, basking in the cold sun and awaiting the warmth of his urine to provide that temporary, yet awfully desired, relief it so rightfully deserved.

I could keep going. There was so much to see, so much beauty. But describing the portly ticket holder who noticeably failed to wipe her palms after quietly sneezing, or the young girl who had not yet learned the subtleties of exposing one’s underwear to those walking past, or the elderly security guard who stifled a yawn as he turned to follow the progress of a red-headed woman adjusting herself for the fourth time, or even the cold-hearted, panicked financier shouting into the pay phone over some loss—none of it could describe what I was feeling then.

None of them could feel what I felt.

And not one turned toward me as I watched. Not a single person noticed the blood on my hands.

She didn’t scream. Not once. That’s what was torturing me. That’s why I came there. I wanted to tear myself apart. I wanted to howl at the top of my lungs and cry out that I had just murdered an innocent woman! Another innocent. Gone. But I didn’t believe that. She wasn’t innocent in the least. Not at all. The way she… still, why was it my responsibility? Why did I have to fix it? I was just as broken as she was, maybe more.

But I could be broken further. I could throw myself in front of a train. I could let my bones shatter and my blood stain the walls.

Why hadn’t she screamed?

And back, to the mouse scampering across the tiles where the cockroach had just idled, the boy with the skateboard desperately looking for an excuse to punish the nearby security guard, the child crying for an uncaring audience as her mother forced her to climb the stairs on her own.

I was a child once, just like her. Maybe I had a mother like hers who pulled me up the stairs as I cried my eyes out. Was I a smart child? Did learning things come naturally, speaking and writing coming early? Did I make her proud? I wish she could see me now. I wish I could see anyone now. The guards are the only ones who look at me in here. But they don’t see me. They don’t know who I am. They don’t even speak to me. To them, I’m worse than a sewer rat. But I didn’t need to be like this. I could’ve been raised properly, could’ve had a fully functional life where I could’ve helped been a productive member of society. Maybe I could’ve been a schoolteacher. But maybe my mom couldn’t understand the responsibility of having a kid.

Maybe she didn’t know what she’d gotten herself into.

It’s the children that’re important in this world. People seem to forget that. Maybe my mother did too. Yes, children, not adults, though we believe it’s us who rule the world. Who make the grand decisions. Little do we know that everything is already decided for us by our parents. That’s why men war and women bake, why boys wrestle and girls pick flowers. Because of what we’re taught as children.

Was I slapped as a child? Did she give me too much leeway? Was yelling second nature to her?

She should’ve screamed.

And I lost the beauty. I lost it right there. Because all I could picture was her face. Her bloodied face. Every person I turned toward, there it was. And all at once, I noted every exit from the building, figured where every weapon hung. They seemed to be calling to me, begging me to turn away from my own death, my own guilt, and continue my job.

But they couldn’t take that look from my head.

They still can’t.