My alarm blasts to life at 6:00am. My head feels stuffed with dull pain, the darkness through the windows contrast against the bright digital lights of my android. I register my surroundings.
Right. I’d crashed at someone’s place last night/this morning after missing the last transport back home.
Next available transport was at 7am.
The slates from the blinds let in the streetlight. I backtracked in my mind how to get to the stop. Out the balcony, through the door, down the stairs, up the driveway, across the street, through the parking-lot, past the residence halls, down the street, around the corner, to the intersection. Arrive at your destination.
(My brain does that.)
I grunt as I try to move. I’d collapsed sideways on the bed, curled in on my left side around my pocketed valuables. My coat zipped up, a light blanket over me, shoes still on. A strange room.
I tried not to make a mess. It wasn’t my bed, and I didn’t want to mess up the sheets. (God, I hate being a woman! Such a nuisance!).
The second 6:30am alarm goes off. I flick on the light and unfold from the mattress, my joints protesting the uncomfortable sleeping position. I never thought I was that fucking old, but go figure.
I fold the blankets and tidy up. I don’t want to wake my host at the ungodly hour. It’s not her fault I can’t sleep well in a strange place, in someone else’s bed. I pat my pockets for inventory, yup everything is there. I glance around one final time, and flick off the light. Slipping out the front door, I pulled it-locked-behind me and headed out the balcony, through the door, down the stairs, up the driveway- before I realized I’d forgotten my glasses.
Down the driveway, up the stairs, through the door, in the balcony. Banged on the door with no response. Shrugged and headed out the balcony, through the door, down the stairs, up the driveway, across the street, through the parking-lot, past the residence halls, down the street, around the corner, to the intersection.
I can see just fine without them. (But my back was killing me.)
The early morning air smelled clean. I couldn’t remember smelling it such a long time. The bird calls in the trees, the squirrels scampering for nuts in the underbrush.
They have become so bold, those squirrels. They’d barely blink when passing within a hair’s breath. It sits there and looks at me, nuts stuffed to the gills within its mouth. Head cocked to the side with a glare of intelligence within its eyes.
Age old standoff. I sit statuesque. Moments pass. It believes I’m a statute and continues over to the lawn to bury it’s horde.
I listen to the cackle of the crows and the brusque brazk of the ravens. The tapping of the woodpecker. The rustle of the trees waving in the breeze.
The hiss of traffic approaching then departing,
45 minutes later I’m heading to the door. My roommate comes out as I go in. I say good morning, have a good day, suddenly aware of how this might look.
Me, coming home after being out all night.
I laugh to myself, imagine that? Now I get to see what that famous walk of shame would have been like.
But, it’s not like I got laid.
So no matter what it looks like, I know the truth, and that is enough.