The Phone Call

He looked out the small window of the front door, face pressed against the cold glass. It was almost a desperate attempt to leap through the small portal, outside into the cool night.

Turning away, he looked at the small room that was the foyer of this place he called home. Kicking effortlessly at an imaginary object, he made his way to the TV room and slumped into the easy chair.

The chair creaked a bit under the sudden weight, but it held and supported the body given to its care.

A light shone above the stereo equipment, casting shadows about the rest of the room. The reflection off the pale, dingy carpet illuminated the room somewhat. A couch was off to the left of the brown patent-leather easy chair the man now sat in. Next to that was a halogen lamp - the kind you buy in K-Mart for $19.95. It could light the whole room and the one adjoining it. It remained quiet.

The shadows played next to the couch and around the dormant lamp. With a flick of the remote, the shadows came to life, dancing to the music suddenly coming form the stereo.

The man absentmindedly flicked through the CD's in the turntable and gave up looking for any particular song. It didn't really matter, anyway, as he was too preoccupied to really pay attention to the music. The music was just a good distraction to keep the room from getting too gloomy.

But as the shadows danced to the song, it seemed as though the small lamp above the stereo gave out less and less light. The man finally drifted off to sleep.

The click of the changing CD's woke him, the image in his dream exploded outward in his mind like it was caught in a maelstrom, unrecoverable, though he grasped at wisps and strands until they dissolved. Pulling himself from the chair, he made his way to the refrigerator as a new song came flowing from the two speakers. He squinted at the light as the refrigerator door opened and peered inside past it.

Water lined the bottom of the refrigerator, occasionally spilling out onto the floor when it was bumped too hard. The man took some care in removing the bottle of orange juice to avoid spilling the water and triumphantly closed the door.

He drank right from the bottle, remembering that he had no clean glasses, and started to make his way back to the chair. Checking himself, his bladder forced him to the bathroom.

Standing over the toilet, he let his free hand rub at the heavy stubble on his face and through his hair, pulling at the tangles. Finishing, he took the bottle of orange juice from the sink shelf and made his way back to the chair.

The man paused, looking around the room as the shadows still danced about under the command of the small light above the stereo. Making his way to the door, he peered out the window.

The phone rang.

© 1992, Robinson Publications, all rights reserved