Contending with a manual gearbox while drunk is an art form best left to the professional drink drivers. I reverse into the dock with all the grace of a crashed race car coming in to pit. I’m lucky to avoid whiplash when the braking distance is misjudged and I bash heavily into the dock bumper. The load shifts rearward with a heavy slide of unsecured items.
I stumble out of the truck to shut the gates, digging in my pockets for the keys. They aren’t on me. Before a complete mental breakdown has me running in ever tighter circles, I see them hanging forgotten in the gate lock; left during last night’s antics.
Proceeding inside I discover the place is wide open all the way to a self-locking door on the second level. Anyone, or anything, could be in here. There’s no need to rely on death by overdose; complacency and stupidity would surely kill me first.
Securing my back trail as I go, I walk on, gathering a black mood. Its cloak holds together bits of me that shiver and shake. The key I hold clatters around the lock plate to our quarters in a Morse Code tapping that tells of the shabby condition I’m in.
I enter quietly; the stereotypical, errant husband sneaking home late from the pub. The door shuts quietly, aiding my sneakiness. The kitchen is a wonderland, filled with temptations a very empty stomach yells for. Pills and alcohol are in reach of eager hands.
The alchemy of love allows me to resist base need and somehow I turn away from their charms. Shit can turn to gold on the rarest of occasions. The kitchen door closes on the bottled revelry, for now.
Checking my flatmate’s room while anticipating slaughter frightens me more than the Queen Parasite. Kristine’s bedroom door is already ajar so I peek through the gap. My eyes see bloody spatters even as my brain tells me the blue walls are clean. The imagined red streaks fade and I know Kristine is intact.
I push further into the room and look upon her sleeping form. Her beauty is washed out by the underlying discomforts her body works to mend. Pain furrows her brow and her eyes shift rapidly under closed lids. On awakening she’ll feel everything I’ve earlier masked with pills. I aim to shorten that painful period of time to a minimum with more of the same prescription.
I accept my reprieve from being discovered in this state with a less than thankful shrug. However, I return to the kitchen on lighter feet and seek materials to fill a hungry belly.
Intently watching the microwave’s timer makes it nervous and the food it cooks is slow to heat. The descending numbers raise a niggling question. How long had I been away with the fairies out there? Calculating the time is difficult to nut out as I’m not even sure what day it is. We’d returned here at dusk and it is morning now which elapses around fourteen hours. I back up the arithmetic by rasping the stubble on my chin. It was clean shaven just before our town trip.
Is that enough time to recover from attempted rape? Isn’t it bad to let people sleep when they have sustained a head injury? These questions are beyond my limited experience so I think about myself instead. I’d better shower before she wakes. My grungy exterior will raise many questions I don’t wish to answer, and I would hate to waste this rare smile Fortune has favoured me with.