A lonely old man looked out his dusty, dingy window, high above the city streets below in his decrepit apartment. He was wearing a tank top and boxers that look like he lived in them. He heard the sounds of bustling activity in the city and it annoyed him, no it bothered him; better yet, it was driving him mad. It was the sounds of a mad world, a sad world, a world he no longer cared to participate in. He snuffed out his half smoked cigarette in a stained, frayed plaid beanbag ashtray that was piled precariously high with cigarette butts. He slowly stood up, holding his sore back with one hand as he rose from his, creaky chair, bones creaking even louder and popping as he moved. He slammed shut the window in an attempt to deaden the sounds from the world below. He sauntered over to the kitchen sink and grabbed a dirty, chipped coffee mug from a sink overflowing with dirty, filthy dishes. A hungry cat, rib cage exposed with malnutrition, rubbed against his leg begging for a scrap of food, he tossed it a toasted crust from a dirty plate in the sink and walked back to his one window view high above the world, but not above it's problems. Sirens drifted up from the streets below filling the air with their wail of misery and death. He looked around and found an unused extension cord dangling from the water sprinklers in his rent-controlled apartment. One last glance out to the polluted world below and his resolution set in. It was time. He slowly wrote a note to no one in particular that said simply "Why go on. No one cares." He stood up on top of his lonely, creaky chair, neck in a makeshift extension cord noose, about to end the misery called life. As he closes his eyes and takes one foot off the chair, trying to kick out his last footing in this world when a trumpet wailed from next door, soon joined by crashing cymbals and a trombone. The brats next door were playing their hem-has and doowhickies. Celebrating their poverty stricken existence with singsong and merriment. Nothing some toilet paper couldn't solve. He unfastened the noose, and rolled up tissue paper that he shoved into his ear, drowning out the happy sounds of child's play that were drifting into his window. Happy that he was deaf to the joyous melodies next door, he took a foot upon his chair once more, resolved to do it quickly this time, before distractions could present themselves, he tightens the cord, ready to jump. He opened his eyes one last time to see a small bird flutter gracefully and settle on his window sill to chirp a sweet bird song before cocking his head to one side as if it was staring deep into his soul with it's beady eyes of judgment. The old man paused and stared back at the bird that seemed to mock his despair. Chirping as if to say, “WTF?” Chirp chirp chirp, chirp chirp . "Fuck you bird" he screamed as he slipped off the noose with one hand, and flipped off the bird with the other, spittle flying from his cracked lips. He exhaled and stepped down, spared from his execution once more. A handkerchief nearby fluttered in the wind catching his eye. He darted over and grabbed it, fastening it around his eyes tightly so he could see no more. Now he was deaf and blind to the joys of the world. He fumbled back to the chair awaiting him to mount it once more. Once more and with more conviction he stepped up onto the wobbly, creaky chair ready to end the misery as quickly as he could. In his haste, he lost his balance and collapsed upon the chair blinded by his own binding. He slowly lifted up the handkerchief and sat up taking in his situation; the extension cord swinging above him, teasing to end his life. With his last ounce of strength, and all the determination and conviction he could muster, he shoved aside everything he could reach. He slammed the window shut and drew the blinds closed. He barred the door, climbed the chair and fastened the rope around his neck. He was ready. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath... of sweetness. Sweetness? It was so sweet and as he sniffed he licked his lips and tasted the air, it tasted even better than the aroma. It tasted like, memories of a joyful youth, of sweet summer evenings and freshly picked apples baked to perfection.
He couldn't wrap his lips around the taste and it drew him down off his chair and slowly he lifted the blindfold off, drawn to the window and the source of the sweet aroma like a moth to a brightly lit candle flame. He threw his head out the window, nose first inhaling every wisp of the scent. On the ledge next door, cooling in the autumn breeze, was a freshly baked apple pie glowing in its golden crisped perfection. The man blinked, and blinked again, smelling the apple pie and smiling at the flash flood of memories it thrust upon him. Slowly he removed the tissue from his ears taking in the cacophony of the city that just moments ago had nearly been the death of him. He looked around blinking, realizing for once the beauty of the flowers gracing the nearby windowsills, the wind wafting the fragrance of the flowers. He drew a deep breath and smiled. He heard the sounds of the city drifting upwards toward his apartment window, but this time instead of annoyance and grief, he heard them as sounds of laughter and happiness, he heard the sounds of a happy, joyful world, and he smiled.