I've known Barney for over 15 years now. We met because we both worked at the Renaissance Festival when I was like 15 & he was 14. At some point over the last decade and a half, I discovered that he was a pretty good writer. When we started talking about him doing Disposable Day, I suggested that instead of just writing an elongated caption for all of his pictures, that he might instead write a short piece of fiction. This is what he came up with:
He hates this part. Every time he hates this part.
His girlfriend rolls away from him, and pulls even more of his little precious warmth away with her. The lingering chill in the room, drafting around like an anxious toddler, took this opportunity to lick his neck under his ear, down his shoulder blade, under his arm. It's uncomfortable, but at least it's familiar. There and then, he sleepily arrives at the conclusion that this part of the morning is always this way, the voyage from the warm luscious beaches of slumber over to the cold light of day full of ornery reluctance. Almost always anyway.
He doesn't move, but he waits for the cold to increase, to spill deeper into his scrappy pile of blankets. Eventually, he's grateful. The cold makes him focus and he remembers his other senses. He hears the metronome drip of the gutter outside his bedroom window. He hears the rain wrapped around the house of course, but he also hears the louder spatter of the fat drops knocked off the trees out front.
This means it will rain all day. He doesn't know why he believes this to be true- but for some reason he does.
He knows it's morning, but he also knows it's still dark outside, even though his eyes are still closed. Maybe for the same reason he believes the wind in the front yard means rain all day, he also believes that the sound of rain is different in the dark.
He becomes aware of his breath, and with it takes in the drugstore smell of shampoo from the pillows. They'd gone to bed with wet hair. They'd both worn big wooly beanies to sleep, but they'd come off in the night. A darker note of sweat drifts up from under the blanket.
At this point he hears the knock. The knock comes from the front porch, a solid wooden knuckle thrown on the threshold. The front door is directly outside his bedroom. Had he been so inclined, he could have simply stuck his head out his windows to seek out the knuckles' hand -but this would necessitate getting out of bed- which at this point was frankly just not an option.
Also, it was dark. He knew this to be absolutely true. He also knew that the front porch light, the light in the foyer, and even his own bedside lamp had bad burnt no bulbs in them. They had gone all gone out this week, one at a time, and he hadn't gotten around to getting more light bulbs yet. And of course his contacts, even his glasses, were in the adjacent bathroom.
OK, what is that? He hears it again. He listens for footsteps, he knows them all by name. The redwood porch is nothing but a giant name tag, everybody's entrance to his house reads "Hello, My name Is..." There have been no footsteps since his girlfriend rolled over, and as sure as the thick old dark of the yard, and sure as the promise of the day's rain, he knows there is no person standing on his porch, yet there have been two knocks to the wall just to the right of the front door, at person height.
It is going to rain all day. It is very dark. It is very stupid early in the morning. And there is an unknown knocking on the wall.
This is the part he hates. Right here. The conclusion. The sum total. Every morning he can account for every penny from the change of sleep to wake. Every single dime of good sense he has knows where it comes from. But for some reason, he has no idea what appears to be dreadfully throwing coins at his front door.
What the fuck is that?