2023 Jan 04
Shocked by the clanging alarm, he heaved up from his slumbers and thumped the old fashioned clock. The metal button gouged the base of his forefinger. Sucking at his hand he dimly remembered the dream he was just having, something about being chased or something.
He tried to get out of bed but the covers grabbed at his foot. Yanking it free took a few goes and also succeeded in flumping half the duvet off the side. Sighing, he threw it back on. A slipper slid just out of reach. He got painfully on one knee to retrieve it. He yawned again and yammed his feet into the recalcitrant slippers. The right little toe bent back against the felt, he winced and had to try again.
Stumping down the dark corridor he stepped on the dog’s squeaker toy. “EEEEeee” it said. He found the left slipper lining had rucked up. Adjusting his step to slide the insole flat, he somehow caught his hip on edge of the bookcase. He stopped himself shouting with a “Fffff..”.
In trying to close the toilet door quietly, he found the door jam was inexplicably two inches closer than yesterday. “Bang” it went. An involuntary grimace scrunched his bleary face as he swung his arm to find the light cord. It was inexplicably two inches further away than yesterday and he had to swing his arm back and forth twice more before he found it. The cord swooshed violently away in the darkness and struck the wall. He swung at it again deciding on some sort of murder. He gritted his teeth and forced himself to wait for a beat. There it was! “Click” the light lanced into his eyes and he flinched. “Happy fuckin new fuckin year you fuck!” he told himself in the mirror. The reflection peered back, not amused.
He sat to pee. A dull ache from his bladder came together with a sharp little spike of stabbing pain somewhere down there. Business as usual he thought.
Back in his room he took the suit off the rack and regarded it for a moment before laying it on the rumpled bed. Its flatness, its darkness spoke to him of misery, of defeat. He filled the drab suit with sorrow and remembered that long lost youngster, so thrilled to be alive, the one who would make the world laugh and dance, filled with joy. Where had that one gone?
Waiting for the kettle to boil, he noticed the little cushion someone had bought for a present - “Live, Laugh, Love” it said. There was a little rainbow design. Again, he thought of murder. His empty flat shrugged and looked the other way. Clicking the door shut, he stepped down the hall and stopped. Muttering darkly, he returned for his phone. The door gave a proper slam that time.
The dust in the flat relaxed into the eternal business of swirling back down to land. Some motes would take all day.