The door slammed and I awoke feeling guilty. Claudia had left for work, mad, and here I was ensconced in the cloud of blankets that were her late mother's duvet and bed sheet: a siren's song more sleep-inducing than any pharmacological anti-depressant prescription.
I was dreaming about rowing a sailboat up a flooded hill. It was vivid. It involved Robert Downey Jr. and contraband cigarettes. It was epic.
I would have liked it to have continued uninterrupted.
I was numb when the door slammed. It was like being under water, and the new day was a breath of air -- just air, neither fresh nor frozen. I felt I could wake up, even though I didn't want to. Dead ends in my dreams have that effect on me. They creep into my present life.
I wasn't tired, though, just mentally exhausted. Tiredness has to be earned to be appreciated, and my card wasn't valid. I can have a doctor prove I have a heart murmur and an employer tell me I'm no longer needed, but no one can tell me I'm not awake on my grind or mentally sound. If they do, they're full of shit. Because the only job I've ever not given a shit about is the one I didn't have.
When Claudia came home she was livid.
"Are these cum stains in your underwear?" she asked. She had obviously been through my laundry.
I couldn't stifle a laugh despite myself. Claudia looked at me hard. I'm a genius in many ways, too many to count, but the stealth of infidelity isn't one of them.
"Tell me, who was it?" she asked.
I refused to answer.