A being returns home from a day saturated with flickering lights, useless technologies, and fickle personalities to his mediocre apartment on the 7th floor.
He slowly collapses into his dusty, red velvet armchair; particles puff into the air at the introduction of his weight.
The man pulls from a drawer a crafted walnut pipe, a glass jar of Cavendish, and a wooden box of strike-anywhere matches.
Smoke shrouds his view; a galaxy of haze circumnavigates the atmosphere enshrouding his view.
His pale blue eyes, only slightly ajar, become unaligned and go out of focus. Though still fully functional, they enter a state of unconscious blindness.
All sight is concentrated on morning’s dew on muted, fallen leaves, resting without even a quiver, light struggling to reach the pine forest’s bed of generations of needles, the young woman dressed in black attire and a maroon scarf, resting her head on her lover’s shoulder on a park bench under November’s grey eye lids; red lipstick painted on pert lips on precious features-
The circuit to his physical vision is again closed, thus returning him to his current, and recurring, state of unintentional isolation.
The ember from his pipe now cool, his room possesses the sunlight of a dying day, He is forced to ignite a lamp.
He makes dinner for one.
As the evening light decomposes into night, the vision of the couple wares on his mind, retaining the state of melancholy within his chest. His heart flexes, his face warms and his throat quivers as dejection clamps his drawn out breathing into short, quick huffs of air. A well-prepared meal sits untouched; a crusty membrane forms on the outside of his potatoes, the fat from his roast thickens into a white pus, and the water from his green beans is riddled with pepper, butter, and oil spots. He places the unsoiled utensil on the carved, cherry wood table. He pushes the chair back with the backs of his knees; the wooden feet of the chair grip and tear at the white carpet, resisting the motion; it’s the only sound to be heard in the room; he swivels towards the kitchen to clean up after himself.
Through instinct, he moves his hand to turn the gas from the stove off. Lifting his hand to the knob, he stalls; still in the same position, he closes his eyes, tilts his head upward, and opens them once more. He stares at a tile on the wall in front of him, as if to ask its advice (from who else was he to enquire opinion?). His fingers caress the knob; the sweet aroma of methane fumes filling his senses comforts him. He grows tired; it’s all he wants- sleep. His moist fingers slip from the knob.
A coy hand places the cap on a pen with a click, almost with attitude, then seals the envelope with a flick of his tounge. He would have written a name on the front of the envelope, had he known who might find it first.
Fingers’ touch switches levers; the apartment grows darker with each successive flick.
He brushes his teeth before retiring to bed; a habit that stuck from his father’s enforcements.
He places a rosary under his pillow; his mother taught him that; he pats it a few times.
Heavy eyelids pull down to cheekbones without resisting.
Streams of numbing relief run through his heart, too withered, too shaken, too damaged to fight off its beckoning rest.
So it does.
Tomorrow, Morris will knock, requiring rent payment.
Bill will lean over the cubical to ask if the team won.
Mother will call.
Father will not.
Seven days later, a letter will be sent to the both of them.
His name and three lines will be printed for one day in the back of the paper.
His possessions will be sold; his apartment, placed on the market for a reduced price.
Dew, still fresh.
Light, still luminous.