S was crouched behind a cupboard in an old-style Chinese dim sum restaurant. The type in which ladies push around carts piled up with dim sum, from which customers can take their pick. The cupboard was only waist high. So S can watch the entrance to the restaurant over the top of the cupboard.
He knew he cannot get out - the police were outside, guns drawn, waiting for the opportunity to rush in. He made a mistake a long time ago. One thing led to another; and now the police is after him. He would love to go back and undo the mistake, to start all over. But he could not.
What should he do? He had a gun. Should he shoot at the police? The police would surely shoot back at him. He would then die in a hail of bullets. That would seem heroic. It would be very exciting for a moment. Then what? Perhaps he would be wounded but not die. Then he would have to spent the rest of his life crippled, in prison. That would be a lousy way to live.
Should he put the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger? That would end it quickly and he would surely die. Then what? Would he end up in the abyss, condemned to eternal suffering?
Should he give up, admit that he had screwed up, and accept the punishment? Should he try to live his life in the right way from now on, even in prison? That would seem to be the right thing to do. But prison life is hard. He would suffer terribly. There would surely be a lot of pain and indignity. He probably deserved it. But could he handle it?
There did not seem to be an easy way out. Perhaps life is really like that - no easy way out. What should he do?