Some find their solace in means and escapes. Some find escaping their means gives them solace enough–
His wife had golden hair that framed her face with swollen coils on Sundays when she prayed at church. Her jewelry stole the flames from candles on the alter, sharpened it on diamond facets and cast it back like daggers cutting all the other wives and daughters. His son was tall and thin and overly mature, teetering a cigarette between his fingers loosely as he hung a bronzy arm below the window of a blacked-out Beemer and volunteered his services to girls he didn’t know downtown on Friday nights.
Mondays on his way to work he’d buy a mocha from the little shack where almost-naked college girls put extra whipped cream on his drink so that he’d give them bigger tips, and before he pulled away he’d already drank enough to build a thick shelf of whiskey that fell elegantly into the coffee beneath it, making liquidous and translucent downward peaks. Before he made it to the office, his nose would warm and redden and his presentations grow faster and more enthused. An extra tailored suit in case he spilled
He’d come home on Fridays bloodshot, on the verge, the cusp of somehow losing.
Money in the bank and maids to clean the messes. Trophy wife to take for steak and seafood in an SUV and months of mortgages inside his wallet so that Sunday he could pay for faith.
Then one Monday when a light was red he didn’t stop. Didn’t even phase him when he saw the girl apart behind him in the pile that used to be her car. His face was hot with blood, his breath with whiskey warmed by sugered chocolate.
When he woke up in the hospital, officers leaning on devices as they chirped and sang like slot machines to cash out his pain, the edge of every Friday evening dulled, abated. Vintage chardonnay and imported satin sheets–golden ringlets over tithing plates and a court date that his wife and kid will miss–mortgaged for a bottom bunk where he could finally sleep.