The Grey Man and the Pit
"Of course I know the pit," she said. "Doesn’t everyone?"
The grey man looked down at her, skeptically.
“Some days you wake up and see nothing but green trees, and you can’t even remember why your fingernails are bloody. Other days, you wake up in the pit, and every thought’s another boulder that you drop on your own head.”
"Sometimes whole days go by while you’re stuck down there. Whole chunks of time, just… gone.”
He nodded slowly.
She couldn’t say exactly why she thought of him as grey. Everything about the man seemed faded, as if somebody had left him out for too long in the sun.
"I don’t think everybody knows the pit," he said, swiping his finger through an amber bead of rum.
"No." He shook his head. "I think it’s just a particularly unblessed few." He sized her up, almost like he was looking for a fight. "People like us. You and me, we know the pit. Normal, happy people don’t ever wake up there."
"I can’t imagine." She shook her head, too. "Even when I can see the stars, I know that the pit is always there, calling me back. I can’t remember the last time my ears weren’t ringing with it."
She took a drink. Lifted her vodka to his rum.
"I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t bruised and battered by it," she said. "I can’t remember the last time my vision wasn’t blurred."