She knocks on the door…

She knocks on the door…

“Shut –up Grand Ma, I’m trying to eat in here!” He says, not realizing that Grand-Ma is not here, she’s been dead going on ten years now, and he still talks to her every day. The room isn’t spinning this time it was a lapse in judgment. Someone is knocking at the door but he’s not moving. He won’t answer it. It may be the land lord asking for his money again. He doesn’t have it he just keeps his head down swallowing the words he would ordinarily scream at his dead grandmother.

He knows where things went wrong.  He looks hard at Curt Russell in his dirty tank top on the TV. There is no sound he likes watching it that way. Besides he knows every word. Sometimes he gets Curt Russell confused with Bruce Leroy but he knows all the words. It’s sick he thinks, to never have to hear another human being. He knows what they’re all going to say he can figure them out with one glance. Every movie that ever came on TBS, WGN, even HBO, he has them all in his head. Flip the channel while sitting next to him is like flipping through the TV Guide.  When the TV guide was small and had collectible covers and meant something. Now they’re all big and glossy, he won’t use them, and not just because there is a TV Guide channel now. He simply doesn’t need to. He won’t watch any movie made in the last ten years unless it is in some way connected with Will Ferrell or Will Smith. He knows all the shows and what channel they come on he occasionally watches a new show that he doesn’t know the words to. Cable shows run in loops though, so by week’s end he will have them memorized, just in time for the new episode.

He thinks about how he likes cartoons that come on late at night. They are only fifteen minutes long and perfect for his attention span. They run in infinite loops so he has time to remember them all. They have DVDs he can download and watch again and again. He likes repetition. It comforts him. He tells his dead grandmother the same jokes again and again he knows it comforts her. He doesn’t go out and rarely looks out the window. His neighborhood is filthy he thinks. Nothing out there but vampires he says. Then he looks down at his food its cold now and cold noodles suck. He picks up the bowl to take it to the sink. But for as second he thinks about breaking it on the wall. But there will be no one here to impress with such bravado. No one to try and calm him down after he flies into a rage, no one to get mad and threaten to call the cops, just him and the TV to scream at. There’s just the ghost, the memories, and someone knocking at the door. He quickly sits back down. He hopes his movement didn’t register through the peep hole. He knows it did but if whoever is knocking wasn’t looking then he or she wouldn’t know. He just has to sit still and not light a cigarette until the knocking stops.

He shouldn’t have thought that now all he can see is that pack of Camel Lights sitting on the coffee table. Those cancer sticks calling his name. There were twenty in the pack when he bought them a few hours ago. Now he wonders how many there were before he’d have to buy another pack. He’s not quite up to two packs a day but close enough. Maybe a pack and half, he knows he has to get it down. Down to none, but he knows that would be great, and he knows that will never happen. He’s glad who ever is out there is knocking; they will keep him from touching the pack for awhile. He could use a drink though. A warm refreshing shot of Seagram’s washed down with some 99¢ Shasta. It’s disgusting he knows but fuck it. He’s alone here he doesn’t need you judging him. His hand is lightly shaking on his knee. Now this person has to leave. A cigarette he can do without for an hour or two, but daddy needs his bottle.

There is a pause

He’s not sure what next he listens for more footsteps is. He prepares to run out the back door. If it’s the cops he’s screwed. He’s unarmed and even if he were he couldn’t them all of them. He thinks it could be the Mexicans he glared at a few weeks ago when he was walking back from the store. He wonders if it’s some old enemy from his past come back to kill him. He sweats a little and eyes the pack of Camels one won’t hurt now, if their breaking in then he will die smoking. A few minutes pass and he puts out the hard smoked cig. There’s been no sound who ever had come knocking had left without a trace. He relaxes and pokes his nose through the blinds to check outside. There’s nothing, no one, he lets out a sigh, gets up and takes his bowl in to the kitchen.

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