Every day is the day of the dead.
It was just before 6am when the cat’s cries awoke me. I read somewhere that, statistically, more people die of heart attack at 6am than any other time of day. Was that damn cat trying to spare me the Reaper’s sickle, or did he want my eyes open to see its swing? Never can tell with cats. Nevertheless, the beast cried till I got up, socks, shirt and briefs to scrape out a can of shredded turkey and cheese to shut him the fuck up.
The sun was up, but the sky was grey. My neighbors were still asleep. I took a piss, then back to bed. My neck was stiff and I knew that I’d need to be drunk again before the end of the day.
When I opened my eyes again, it was 10am. The neighbors were up by then. The old man was warming up the car. He visited his wife’s grave every day. The car’s door chimed as he left it open. The radio played pop. I sat up and checked my email on my phone, charging bedside. There was no one left to love me. And the cat was crying again. Perhaps he has worms. Perhaps so too does my heart.
The fridge was bare, except for a half a wedge of brie, bottles of ketchup and a variety of mustards. There were also a few bottles of beer. You are never alone if there is always beer in your fridge.
I needed another piss. Then I pulled one of the cold green bottles. The crack and hiss is the loneliest of good mornings a soul may ever hear. But the fizz and burn going down fills all other voids.
I microwaved some oatmeal. Showered and went for a walk. At the corner I saw a young Indian woman. Her skin was dark. Her hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. She avoided eye contact. Her feet sandaled and her stride was without sway or swagger. She went her way, I went mine. Where was she headed for? Where was I?
I ended up at the public library. I found an empty table upstairs, in the young adult section. It was early enough in the day that I wouldn’t have to worry about any kids. Yet, there were always the napping homeless and the hopeful pervs.
I scratched out a few lines in my notebook. Fought off my own heavy eyes trying to pull me into a public slumber. I gathered my things and headed back to the apartment.
More than half of another day I’d wasted.
I did the dishes. They’d waited in the sink for more lonely days than I could remember. The accomplished chore left me feeling entitled to a drink stiffer than beer.
I looked out the kitchen window. I could see the sky, no birds and the empty driveway. I saw myself pouring booze down my throat and I pulled the curtains shut.
It was getting close to dinner time. There’d be little more for me than the brie, beer and more tequila. But I’ve learned to make the most of what I’ve got, or what I’ve not.
I clicked on the radio and poured the drink I’d promised myself this morning. And I ignored the cat’s cries this time. Fuck him. I’ll see him again, or the Reaper, 6am tomorrow.