Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A chilling breeze from the open window made him shiver. He was sitting on the loveseat squinting at the white sky intensifying outside. The window had been left open overnight, clearing the atmosphere of the heat and intensity from the previous night. He scratched at his head and rubbed the creases on his reddened right cheek, while snapping his arm trying to loosen his stiff shoulder. He glanced about the room, grimacing from the heavy must of the stale cigarette smoke rotting amongst the countless beer cans and bottles stacked and strewn about the room. He had no clue what time it was, but the low rumble of the distant freeways helped him decide that it was quite early. The sound was peaceful like the ocean. He had woken because of an intense need to piss, but it was the sour taste in his mouth that kept him up. His teeth felt soft.
He stared at the crooked frame dangling on the wall by the front door. A piece of glass pointing up from the bottom side of the frame like a shark tooth was the only thing holding the photograph inside. They were his friends. She was smiling as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders from behind, posing so that their faces were side by side. When he snapped this picture of them in this forced pose months earlier he had predetermined its title as "Wallet Sample."
He stood up and stretched his arms outwards and arched his back up through his shoulders as if trying to break free from his own skin. After realizing that this wouldn't happen, he grabbed the damp crumpled towel sitting on the counter next to the kitchen sink and kneeled down to soak up the beer puddle sitting next to an overturned bottle. The fresh liquid diffused the red stain already set in the towel. He smeared the remaining wet spot around and picked up the bottle with the towel and carefully placed it into the sink, trying not to make any noise. He didn't want to wake up his friend.
Standing in the room, unsure about his next move, he was driven by the urge to sneak out the door and get home. He looked down at the box knife sitting on the floor amongst the remainder of glass from the picture frame hanging above. He decided that it was not a good time to leave. All he could hope for was an improvement. He had never wished for success as much as he did for his efforts just a few hours earlier. Restless and needing a distraction from his recent memories, he retrieved a lighter lying beneath the coffee table and ignited the brand new Lucky 13 candle on top of the table. Maybe the candle would burn her stench from the apartment. He returned to the loveseat, sat down and rubbed his head, wondering what he could have done to prevent this and wondering what he would have to do next.