Monday 10/26/2009 01:12:00 AM

Sound of man gagging on his own vomit. Empty beer bottles litter the floor where he lays. Pillows on the floor. Dirty mattress. The sheets falling off.

A deck of cards not far from his left hand. Aces. Jacks. Twos. All showing. Cigarettes butts dug into the hardwood floor.

He coughs. Heaves. On the bile. The thrust of sunlight pounding through the blinds.

Looks up from his nest on the floor. Eyes still dirty with the night before. Sees something. A person unconscious in his bed. Their face hidden. Their breathing transparent against the whirl of the ceiling fan. As the morning's heat begins to overtake the stagnant apartment.

The man lights a fresh cigarette. Stares at the body taking up his bed. A familiar stranger sleeping in vomit and piss.

WAKE UP! he shouts as it rattles his brain. Wake up. Who are you? Why are you here?

His own face rises and turns to look at him. Frozen lips. Vacant stare. His own face look down on him. The bed creeks. The ceiling fan continues to spin. Circulating the stench of their shared vomit. Cutting through the sunlight as it slithers inside.

He rises. Removing the carpet embedded in his skin. Mostly undressed, save for a soiled pair of underwear. Rising to stare at himself there in the dirty bed.

Laughing. Loudly. Euphoric. At the fragile condition of that thing that resembles him.

Just too much drink. The remnants of poor drug. Or else I am dead. And what have I to regret about that, except that it has taken me this long.

He walks over to window. Opens it too wide. The smell of life makes him gag. The absolute. The surrender of happiness. Like a million honey bees all raping the one flower that is left. In a dead world.

There is no prison. No victimology to cite. Nor villain. There is only the sun. As it teases the blind with glimpses of sight.

He moves toward himself quietly. As not to be noticed. He places the pillow over his head and tries to imagine that there was a struggle.

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