Not a gradual awakening...I'm asleep, then I'm not. My apartment is very quiet, no radio playing, no hum of a radiator or fan. Outside, sirens blare, cops or an ambulance.
I think about going to work in a few hours, and how much I don't want to. Rumors are flying thick and fast about layoffs, forced retirement, reduced hours. Management is doing nothing to quell this. In fact, one of our supervisors repeatedly tells us things are only going to get worse. This does not create a happy workplace.
On every level but administrative, all employees were stiffed on any kind of Christmas bonus, and my department couldn't even be bothered to throw together even the most desultory holiday party. Anger and disillusionment is in the air, and it carries over to how we treat each other. Just showing up takes a major effort, because every day feels like eight hours of soul drainage.
Ordinarily, that would mean time to look for another job. But the economy being what it is, available jobs may not even pay the pauper's wages I earn here. So for now, there is nothing to do but endure.
The elevator roars and rattles to life, then clunks to a stop on my floor. The doors clang open and shut. I hear voices, male and female. At this time of night, that likely means someone's getting laid.
Good for them, I guess. That hasn't happened in my world for awhile, and the last few times it did, it was divorced from any real feeling. I haven't had any actual girlfriend since Katie, and that ended over half a year ago. I haven't actually been in love since Tabbatha.
Funny. When she called it quits with me, Tabbatha told me if I searched my feelings, if I was really honest with myself, I'd realize I wasn't truly in love with her. She prides herself in being right about most things. She was very, very wrong about that.
Wump, wump, wump--the sound of a cat bouncing across the floor. Most likely Monika, the more exuberant of the two. Neither of them are on the bed.
I absent-mindedly finger my wrists, a bad habit I've tried to break. I no longer have the urge to slice them, but it's somehow comforting to feel the scars, to recall a time when I cared enough about life to want to end it.
I was...eighteen? Nearly nineteen? My first time was a half-hearted effort, mostly a play for attention, and it landed me in therapy. Nothing new for me. My history with therapy is that I'm usually pronounced well, then sent on my way as if I've been magically cured. But there is no cure for the disordered mind, there's just...this. Life, and everything it throws my way. Sometimes I deal, sometimes I don't. Mostly I do, I guess. After all, I'm still here.
Delmar hops on the bed, the mattress trembling with his every heavy step. I'm laying on my side, and he bumps his forehead into my chest, curling up, purring his odd, squeaking purr. Soon Monika stretches out along my back, and she purrs as well. Together their sounds provide a soothing white noise, and sleep at last approaches.