Awake

The following is the first bit of prose fiction that I’ve written in roughly two years (or more). It’s not good. But at least it exists. Excuse me while I cringe in the corner forever.


He wakes up at 6.

He wakes up at 6 and he is lying on his back and he’s looking at the ceiling, at the stucco pattern, at the lights that are sleeping. Lying in the dim, his mind begins to stir. He moves his left hand from its chosen position extended haphazardly outwards to his chest where it can feel his heart.

A look to the side, to the left. A slow opening eye, a contented sigh of recognition. 

It’s morning.

It’s time to get up.

“Good morning,” a voice sweetly, a slow smile obscured.

He sits up, body reluctant. Blinking, his feet find the floor, cool to the touch.

Hands on his back, the weight of a chin on his shoulder.

It’s morning.

“It’s time to get up,” he tells himself.

With a push, he begins his morning routine, movements carefully practiced, a mundane dance to greet the day.

A short walk to the bathroom, a cat or two underfoot, eagerly awaiting attention or water or both.

The radio from afar, the clatter of drawers, of metal and porcelain.

He relieves himself and turns on the shower. At the instance of the cat or cats (depending on the day) he works the tap on the sink carefully until a controlled dribble of water comes out. He is rewarded with a head bop for his troubles and is then ignored. This is good, because he needs to be ignored.

He sits on the floor, looks into the shower. The room fills with heat.

A knock on the door, a voice muffled by the cascade. 

Soon, the water hits him, warm, inviting. His eyes close and his neck tilts, hands pushing back his hair. The noise of the water and the fog of the heat envelop him, a place to hide.

A hand on his torso. Breath on his neck.

He doesn’t like to leave the shower. It wakes him and makes him more alert and the day can begin.

And so the day begins.

He is much more comfortable when the days are over, when it’s all done and then some nights, a few nights, there’s nothing for a while and he forgets.

But the day.

He turns the shower off with reluctance, carefully stepping out to the floor. He towels off.

“Good morning.”

It’s morning.

Back in the bedroom, it’s time to get dressed. He sits on the bed. The world creeps in.

It’s here where it starts, where he remembers.

There’s so much, and he is so little.

Sweet words whispered in his ear.

This is when the world arrives, so big and unwieldy. This is where he remembers. It’s always nice to forget. But the night always gives way to the day, and more than he is forgetful, he is small.

Fingers sliding around his torso.

An unseen smile.

Breath on his

But then

on his neck.

more than he is small

The weight of a chin

and more than he is forgetful

on his shoulder

he is hopeful.

“Good morning.”