...I awaken so very slowly. Grainy eyes look down at blubbery, naked, shivering flesh. Sweat runs off every part of me. An intense, whole-body sickness, pins me to the floor. Damp towels surround me and another covers my modesty. This bedroom is very messy. I think it’s mine.
Good ol’ Will Power gives me the strength to crawl to the bathroom. It’s way too soon for walking. A heartfelt moan is blockaded by glued together lips, spoiling the effect. I kneel at the sink and burn my hand under hot water. The taps have changed sides or I’m still a bit confused. I wet a towel to dab my lips. A finger gently pushes a hole between them. The waiting groan rushes out. Yellowish crust has formed over puffy ragged cuts on my hands.
Fuck, my stomach hurts. A sudden urge to crap nearly overtakes a fast scuttle to the toilet. I don’t even have time to put the seat down.
I groan some more and flush away the biggest, solidest crap I’ve had in years.
Now that I’m standing, albeit in a geriatric slouch, I get in the shower stall. Fresh blood runs down the drain from knocked off scabs.
I feel slightly better after several minutes of gentle scrubbing. Reaching for a towel reveals a sad, beat up dude copying me in the mirror.
Holy shit, that is me.
I squint through puffed up, blackened eyelids. Damn I look shitty. A chubby face, covered in welts and tiny scratches, shies away from the scrutiny. I look back. A scruffy, month-old beard still has flecks of vomit and dried blood in it.
Annoyed, I get back in the shower and wash my beard again. Shaving is out of the question. Too many cuts on this poor old face already.
My nose is a red beacon and blocked solid. I do a bit of mining with a pair of tweezers. A lump of dried blood painfully breaks away taking most of my nose hairs with it. Tears spring up and blood spills down. A wad of toilet paper dams the flow.
I switch my attention to the scratched ear. An experimental poke with a cotton bud convinces me to leave it alone. Hurts like a bastard.
Everything hurts. Low level moans accompany every action.
My hand has puffed up alarmingly. The red poison trail leads almost to my elbow from the place that thing had chewed. Probably poison or an infection.
I’ll probably die. I’m starting to get a bit morose.
Almost back to my natural state then.
“Son of a bitch!”
I’d completely forgotten about Kristine. She appears behind me in the bathroom doorway and looks over my backside, quite unimpressed. If I were a fish she’d caught I’d be thrown back.
I stare at her in the mirror. She’s scrubbed up pretty well. Other than some healing scratches around her face and dark rings around her eyes, she’s alert and, well, a bit of a stunner, I suppose. A dark haired angel in a white bathrobe.
A wisp of steam forms the outline of wings behind her. I blink rapidly. The vision clears.
“Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you.”
“S’OK. Yeah. I feel...”
I speak slowly to keep my lips from banging together too hard.
How did I feel?
I feel sober. And I don't like it.
Kristine gives up waiting for a proper answer.
“So, is my hero rejoining the land of the living, or are you having another nap first?” She comes in and leans against the shower cubicle.
I detect sarcasm.
Some bloody hero I am. How come in the movies a hero can pull all sorts of unlikely stunts, gets beaten up, saves the day, then still finds the energy to fuck the leading lady and drive off into the sunset.
There’s no fucking or driving in my immediate future. Lying down or falling down were the biggest decisions I feel like making.
A cool current of air reminds me I’m naked.
“Hey, get out, I’m not decent.”
I grab a towel and press it against an embarrassed dick. Kristine doesn’t go out of her way to bolster my confidence.
“I’ve already seen everything you’ve got ‘big man’.”
What’s that mean? More sarcasm? I measured myself once and my penis fits very comfortably in the middle of the average zone, for her information. Slightly further towards the longer side of middle average if I wanted to get technical. But considering how cold my room is, it might have shrunk somewhat. She might think it’s smaller than it actually is on a warm, normal, average day.
Kristine has rolled her eyes and left while this inner turmoil occupies me. I hear the TV switch on. A porn video I’d left in the player blares.
It runs long enough to complete my humiliation then clicks off. I feel like a wayward child who has disappointed his mother.
I sigh and lean my forehead on the basin for a while. First impressions from her point of view were decidedly unfavourable I should think.