It was the kind of evening that catches up with you all the sudden. The day had passed slowly, lazy puffs of clouds floating over the city like white castles in the sky. I turned pages in the used book and sipped on coffee and all the sudden the sun dipped behind the buildings in the western suburbs and the sky turned a vibrant purple.

I checked my phone when I got up to turn on the balcony light. No messages, but a time of nearly six in the evening. ‘Shit’ escaped my lips before I could catch myself. Not sure why I’d catch myself though, I was alone in the apartment. I stretched and looked out at the balcony. The astroturf had lost its shimmer in the fading light and my coffee cup had attracted a fly. 

I watched as it buzzed around the cup, then on to the plate with its crumbs and the book. I wondered why everything was so dark, then I realized I was still wearing my sunglasses. I laughed and traded them clumsily for my normal glasses. The apartment was slightly less dark, but still far from bright.

I went over to the lamp in the corner. It was an odd stainless steel affair. It had a thin metal tube rising from the disk shaped base and as it rose it curved like a giant letter c, at the top there was a very round and polished bell-like light fixture. I went over and stepped on the button to turn it on. With a click the room was filled with warm yellow light and I saw my reflection in the mirror of the balcony sliding glass door. I stood shoeless with a pair of dark blue cloth shorts. My shirt was a loose linen button up that I realized I had worn with the buttons buttoned wrong all day. One side seemed higher dude to the button mishap, and the fact I’d only buttoned it three quarters of the way made it look even more disheveled. My hair was wind tousled and my beard untrimmed. 

Jesus I know its a weekend day but I look like a fucking trainwreck. I’m stone cold sober too. 

I laughed and the reverberations filled the empty apartment, giving temporary life to the sofa and the bed. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a cold can of beer from the fridge. If I’m gonna look like a drunk, I might as well have a drink. 

The cold fiz of the beer was nice on my tongue. After a day of coffee and water it was nice to have a bit of a change. I stood in the kitchen in silence, with only my heartbeat and the dripping of the faucet to mark the time and add life to the sillness. I sighed and wondered what to do with the rapidly approaching night. The idea almost overwhelmed me in and of itself. Even the thought of going to the supermarket to get the ingredients for dinner seemed a chore. 

Maybe I’ll just make four or five sandwiches and call that a meal. 

I returned to the main room and crossed past the metal lamp and returned to my perch on the balcony. I played some Coltrane on my phone and threw in my headphones. I slouched in my chair as I slouched in life and watched as the night slowly but surely enveloped the city in is embrase only to be cursed with a sea of blinking lights. 

You might also enjoy: