Thursday, September 22, 2016

#1 - A Whiter Shade of Pale

A sliver of pink sunlight creeps onto Elliott's face as he lies sprawled on a futon with stained bedsheets. His eyes slowly begin to open, but Elliott quickly succumbs to the draw of just a few more minutes of sleep. After dozing for what felt like seconds (but was really another ten minutes), a loud bang jolts Elliott awake. He sits up and rubs the sleep from his eyes. He inhales deeply. The aroma of musty gym clothing and greasy food fills the air. He scans his surroundings; on the shaggy carpeted floor lie a half-eaten pizza, several empty liquor bottles, and, crumpled in a corner, his oversized work uniform. No clocks are on. The explosion must have caused his power to go out, but it doesn't matter to Elliott. He sluggishly comes to his feet and picks up his phone from his bedside table. 7:34 PM. Crap–work is in 10 minutes. He steps over a sticky brown spot on the carpet from a piece of jelly toast he dropped last Thursday and pulls aside his curtains. A beautiful, deep purple sky illuminates his face as his glazed eyes stare back. Ribbons of pink cirrus clouds float high above puffs of cumulus clouds spanning the horizon. He sighs and thinks to himself, "what a terrible day to miss." Elliott backs away from the window and proceeds to put on his rumpled work uniform and splash water on his tired face and matted black hair. He leaves the confines of his apartment and lumbers down the two flights of stairs to the back door of The Victorian. The warm air of one of the last days of summer greet him. Elliott turns right and walks down Simone Boulevard several blocks until he comes to an unmemorable Olive Garden, where he walks around back. The smell of breadsticks and chicken carbonara waft over Elliott and nauseate him. He is reminded of the tables of birthday celebrations, business dinners, and old couples that he will waste his night waiting on in the coming hours. He stops briefly outside of the rear entrance. Elliott takes one last look at the now purple sky and walks inside.