Coming to, it turned out, was not as pleasant of a process. The light from the sun had somehow transformed into the bright blinding lights of a cop car, and a flashlight shining into his eyes. A dark figure stood over him, a silhouette of intimidation. He held up a hand to shield his eyes from the lights, and mumbled something incoherent under his breath.
The officer was saying something about public intoxication, and dragging him away from the pole. His knees started to buckle; he had needed the support. He found himself being handcuffed, and the thought struck him that he should perhaps mention that he was not in fact drunk, but merely where he belonged all along, which happened to be very, very lost. But the words wouldn't come, and he allowed himself to disappear into the back of the police car without a struggle. The officer handed him an odd object, which he finally recognized as a breathalyser. Shrugging, he breathed into it, and handed it back. Surprised, the police man had no choice but to stick him back on the sidewalk. Once there, he realized he hadn't said a single word to the man, and that he was still in the middle of who knew where. He fingered the keys in his pocket, and thought about her, and how she was probably still in the bed where he had left her. Maybe she had woken up, noticed his absence, and taken advantage of that to have a bottle or two of wine he hadn't managed to locate yet. These thoughts were automatic, and he wished there was some other life he could go back to, that wouldn't have problems, and that would welcome him with smiles, and no one would end up passed out bleeding in the basement.
He listened to the wind that was sweeping through the leafy green trees that edged the roadside. It was beginning to get cool, and the air had that smell of autumn in it; a hopeful, fresh scent. He closed his eyes and leaned against his pole once again. He listened more intently, become aware of his surroundings purely through his senses.
Decisions are so hard to make when you give yourself time to make them. But some decisions make themselves, given the chance to. They involve no thinking, no pro and con list, no painful hemming and hawing over whether or not you are making the biggest mistake of your life. They just happed, occur, spontaneously, and they are so obviously the right decisions, you wonder why you never made them before.
Another sound entered his sensory board, this one the sound of water. He hadn't noticed before, but he was sitting directly next to a sewer grate, carrying away tons of waste to parts unknown on a daily bases. A voice spoke inside his head, urging him to throw the keys in the grate, and simply walk away. He had no idea where the voice came from, or where his steps would lead him, he just knew it was the right thing to do.
With a prayer for her, and an extra word added on the end for the forgiveness of his own soul, he took the keys from his pocket, and held them over the grate. His hand remained poised there for only a moment, but he did not regret what he did next. He just let go, the keys landing with a faint splash below, washing away with the rainwater and discarded gum wrappers that clogged the system and caused tax raises. He let go, and with the keys he let go of his former self, and a completely holistic feeling of peace washed over him like a tsunami.
He couldn't help but smiling as he stuck out a hand for a passing taxi, and asked the driver to take him to the airport. He didn't know where he was going, he only knew that he had known subconsciously this was what he would end up doing, from the beginning.