If I wasn’t poor, I would’ve paid a pretty price to have Mithoo killed.
The drunkard swine has ruined his life and almost most of mine.
It’s not so much his drinking. His money is his own to waste.
It’s the daily drama that follows.
We live like rats packed into drainpipes, one atop another, not breathing, but inhaling desperation.
Those pouches of liquor, I smell them on his breath and in the stale air around me.
He’s ready to put us to shame again.
Our room, no bigger than a shoebox, rests like an ill-fitting block at the top.
Click-click. He fiddles with the radio. He forgets every night that its broken.
His plate lies untouched. The watery soup and handful of rice have parted ways.
Mithoo throws his shirt at me. His bones poke out of his chest.
I won’t stop him. He’s never listened before.
He’s out in the common balcony yelling, ‘Today is the perfect day to die!’
I hear the groans and curses hurtling towards him.
Go to Hell!
Just die and let us sleep!
Why don’t I push you!
But Mithoo can’t hear them. When he’s drunk, he’s also deaf.
He climbs barefoot on to the rickety railing. One hand on his head, the other holding the crumbling crossbeam.
Here come the tears and hysterical laughs. A new story every time. Unfulfilled love, cheating friend, rising prices, falling wages.
The dogs in the street bark along. They sense he’s one of their own.
I fan myself with his shirt. It feels light in my hands, freed from his madness.
There’s a deafening crash. Then silence.
The railing is gone. So is Mithoo. I stuff his shirt in my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
Who would’ve known poverty was the price to kill him…
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