He’s walking down a long paved road.  Down the middle, a broken yellow line gently curves between grassy hills.  Where are the cows?  They’re usually here.  Oh well.

The road moves at a slight down, then up hill slope.  With little effort, he walks up the road, almost drawn.

Behind him, the sky is on fire, the sun having just set below the crest of hills.  He sees this without looking.  Above him, starless indigo dusk and getting darker.

The blackness ahead pulls him closer.  Does it have its own gravity?  It keeps getting darker.  Is that possible?  It doesn’t matter.

He breathes deeper, reaching for oxygen, like asthma.  But, the tightness is in the air, not his body.  Still less oxygen, his lungs work harder.  His heart rate quickens, attempting to distribute more oxygen, but there is none available.  Cells starve, neurons die, and then release, like a long exhale, relaxing.  Muscles in his jaw, and neck go back to neutral.

Then, nothing, and more nothing.

She walks around the stairs and under the second floor walkway, turning right to the apartment facing the street.  Even though it’s under all the floors, the sun is beating on the windows, shades drawn.

She knocks on the door.  Nothing, but she didn’t expect him to jump up for her.  The cooler in her right hand is heavy.  She places it on the concrete.  She knocks again, this time heavier, louder, more obnoxious.

His dream is still nothing, more and more nothing, until something sounds like pounding.  It’s an irritating sound, but at least it’s not more nothing.  Nothing was about to get so boring.  Although, he could go for the dying part again.  Just keep walking into darkness and then release.  Do that over, and over again, maybe in different places, Tokyo, Everest, Mars.  Or, spin into a black hole, let his body stretch with the variations in gravity.

He hasn’t opened the door.  She cups her mouth and brings it to the crack between the door and wall.  “Open the fucking door!  I know you’re in there!”

He hears the voice swearing at him.  That’s funny.  Hmmm…funny.  He blinks and notices his body, slouched on the couch.

“It doesn’t smell like rotting flesh, so get the fuck up and open the fucking door!  It’s hot out here!”  Her yelling makes him smirk and he pushes himself up off the couch.  His strides to the door are slow, and long.  He doesn’t care what he steps on.  He starts to turn the doorknob.  Just that little crack lets in blinding sunlight.  He squints as she pushes her way through.

“Finally! You knew I wouldn’t leave ‘till you let me in, huh.”  She walks past him, holding the cooler behind her so it doesn’t bounce off his shin.

She kicks garbage out of her path to the kitchen, empty wrappers of Fire Cheetos, and Reese’s Pieces, and cans of Venom, and Mountain Dew.

The kitchen and the living room are practically the same room, except that they’re not.  It’s an old building and the door between the rooms must have been removed, carpet on one side, linoleum on the other.

He sits back on the couch, a narrow butt indent still waiting for him.  He watches her unload plastic containers from her cooler to his freezer, and fridge.

“I’m putting veggie lasagna and chili in the freezer, they should last a few months in there.”  She can feel his eyes.  “There’s some lemonade, with lavender, in the fridge, and beans and rice.  And, here’s an avocado, it’s almost ripe.  I’m putting it right here, on the counter.”

Emptying the cooler, she pulls out a single serving size container.  “I’ll be so fucking pissed if you let this shit get moldy.”  She hunts for a saucepan, it’s easy to find in such a small kitchen, and dumps a mild vegetable, and sweet potato soup into the pan, turning the burner on low.  She rinses the container in the sink and puts it in the cooler, closes the lid and picks it up.  She’s ready to get out of this place.

“Did you come to fuck me?”  He knows she can’t resist his smile.

Holding the cooler, she leans against the empty door frame.  They take a moment to look to each other and smile, lips closed with subtle pleasure.

She looks down at the cooler.  “You need to fucking shower.”  She lifts the cooler with her fingers to get a better grip.  “Brush your teeth and eat something that doesn’t look so damn radioactive.”  Her smile shows her teeth.  “And, have a fucking regular shit.  None of that crazy ass wet kinda medicated shit.  You’re gonna need a fucking diaper.”  They both laugh.  He shakes his hair around his face.

She walks to the front door, not caring what she steps on.  She grabs the doorknob, but doesn’t turn it.  She moves to look at him, one hand on the doorknob, the other holding the cooler.  “Then, I’ll ride you like a fucking magic carpet.”

She opens the door and disappears into the blinding sunlight.  He’s alone again, more nothing.  Something smells delicious.

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Author: Christy

I love that Toni Morrison and Dr Dre were born on my birthday, but identify more with the Cheshire Cat. Pablo, from Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf", is kinda like my John Galt.

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