Written in 2001. I wrote this because a friend of mine had a girlfriend I thought he should break up with and I wrote this to inspire him to do so.
The eruption of his alarm clock burst through the air. His body reacted to the noise by sitting strait up. He reached over to the alarm and slammed his fist over the snooze. In a few minutes he managed to slump out of his bed. A bed that was surprisingly void, for his girlfriend had been in it last night. She was gone now.
He found his boxers on the cluttered floor and pulled them over his waist. He quickly dug a t-shirt out of his hamper, upon observing it he discovered the underarm had been covered in old sweat, and was noticeably yellow. “No matter,” he thought out loud, “no one’s going to look under there anyway.”
He stepped into the kitchen of his small apartment. Clad in a tight t-shirt and boxer shorts, he opened his fridge only to find a couple of cans of beer, and a quarter gallon of milk. He grabbed the milk and slammed it on the table. The lid had been left off and milk splattered out of the carton onto the table, where it joined a collection of juice, soup, and beer stains.
He opened one of his cupboards, looking for something to eat, only to find an old mousetrap. He opened another, then another, only finding dust so old it could have been from the Dark Ages. Irritated at finding nothing to eat he slammed his fist on the counter.
He decided he’d have to find a local grocery mart where he could find something to eat. He moved out of the kitchen into the front room, where the door was. He stepped up to it and just as he was about to leave he noticed a note taped to the door. He quickly scanned it, noting that it was from his girlfriend. He thought, “Why give myself a headache now, I need some breakfast.”
He stepped outside his apartment into the cold morning air. He walked over to his car and lifted the handle to open the door. He remembered that he didn’t have his keys with him so he turned around to head back inside. Mrs. Martzgratz was standing right in front of him. “Oh my Word,” she screamed in a shrill high-pitched voice. He noticed that she was staring right at his groin. He looked down and realized he was wearing only boxers, no pants.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Martzgratz,” he said in a timid embarrassed voice. He raced back into his apartment and slammed the door behind him.
He was breathing heavily and was still embarrassed about the boxer situation. He stepped into the bathroom and looked into the mirror. “Oh Hell,” he said aloud, “I look like shit.” His hair stood in every which direction, his t-shirt was covered in oil stains, and his boxers had a white shell encrusted about the groin. He puffed some air out of his mouth and shook his head. Still hungry he went back into the kitchen. Desperate, he looked through the trashcan. It didn’t take long for him to realize the stupidity of his situation. He pulled his hands out of the trash.
After a couple of minutes he found some old cereal and a bowl. He dumped the cereal out of its bag trying to get it into the bowl, most of it spilled onto the table. He then poured some milk into the bowl where it joined the cereal. When milk started seeping over the edge of the bowl he stopped pouring. Seeing that the carton was almost empty he decided to drink the rest of the milk. Upon placing the carton against his lips he allowed some of the milk to enter his mouth.
Milk blew out of his mouth all over the room, as his mouth rejected the sour substance. He looked at the expiration date, two weeks ago. He chucked the carton over to the trashcan, sending white liquid all over the room. He wasn’t even going to try to down the bowl of cereal he had prepared for himself.
He decided to go out for some food once again. This time he would prepare. He searched through his chest of drawers trying to find some clean pants, nothing. “What the hell,” he thought, “I’m already wearing these dirty things. What is a little more going to hurt?” He found a pair of pants he had worn last week. They were covered in dried mud. He slipped them on anyway. He dug out some old socks as well; when he slipped them on he felt the dried sweat scratch against his feet. He slipped some shoes on. Old and ragged he noticed that his right foot’s big toe was protruding out of the shoe.
He grabbed his wallet and keys, and shoved them in his pocket. Back in the cold air he stood. He opened his car door and sat inside. The vehicle was freezing. He pulled his keys out of his pocket and jammed the key to his car into the ignition. Twisting it, he heard the cool choke and hum of his car’s engine. He quickly turned the heat to full. It would take a while for the heat to build up in the car. He tried to look out the windshield, but it was covered in frost. He turned the defroster on, and rubbed his hands together as he waited for the windshield to clear up. After a few minutes he drove off to find a restaurant.
His car stopped in the parking lot of the first restaurant he saw. He evaluated the situation. He preferred walking into a restaurant, but he was a complete mess, if he walked in he’d stand out like nude man on campus. He decided to head through the drive through.
A voice that could have been sexy cracked through the intercom. “How may I help you?”
He responded, “Yeah… I’ll have one of those um… breakfast burritos and a drink of… orange juice.”
“Is that all?”
He was sure the voice sounded sexy. He wondered what the woman behind it looked like.
“I guess so.” He wished he had said something smoother.
“That’ll be four ninety five.”
He drove to the delivery window, where he collected his food from none other than a preteen kid whose voice hadn’t matured. He nearly threw up at the fact that he had expected a sexy girl. He drove to a parking lot nearby, where he proceeded to eat. When he finished consuming his food and drink, he patted his stomach in relief. After enjoying his full stomach for a moment, he headed home.
Upon arriving at his apartment he headed inside. Bored he wasn’t quite sure what to do. Looking over his apartment it was a mess. Clothing and old newspapers and magazines cluttered the floor. The place reeked of food long lost in dark crevices. He moaned and declared, “Shit, I wish this place would burn.”
All he really wanted was a shower and a clean set of clothing. He didn’t have any clean clothing and figured it would be a waste of time to take a shower just to put on dirty clothing. First he would have to wash his clothes.
He gathered the clothes from the floor and put them into a bag. It didn’t take long to get to the buildings laundry room.
He had heard that dark clothing should be separated from light clothing in the wash, but he didn’t much care. He found a larger washer and emptied his bag of clothing into it, scooped some soap into the machine, and loaded it with quarters. The machine was running and it would be around fifteen minutes before its cycles would be complete. Knowing this he decided to take a nap right there in the laundry room.
Minutes later he woke up to the sound of fellow apartment patrons cleansing their clothing. He took a look at the washing machine where he had placed his clothes, almost done. When the cycles were complete he opened a drier and transferred his wet clothing from the washer to the dryer, popped in more change and waited.
The cycle for the dryer was quite a bit longer than that of the washers, and he didn’t really want to hang around wait for it, but he didn’t have much choice. If he left his clothes unattended city punks would probably steal them. So he waited, thinking to himself.
He was Kevin Decker, an atypical twenty-two year old guy. Most people thought of him as a bastard. He just considered himself a disagreeable person. He had been in and out of a relationship with the same woman for years. Jobless, he never could manage anything, and was forced to borrow money from his parents every week. He was a tough guy who was willing to get into a fight over anything. His ego was nonexistent, anything he felt like, he did; even in public. With all that stated, he was a loser, looking at his life it was empty; looking into his future was nothing, just the same bleak mishmash of eating, sleeping, and sex.
When the dryer stopped running he opened its door and felt his clothes. They were dry. He stuffed them back into their bag, and then went back to his apartment.
Arriving at his apartment, Kevin dropped his laundry bag on the floor. He went into the bathroom and removed his dirty clothing. He looked in the mirror at his naked body. Seeing himself nude, he flexed his arms and chest pretending they were bigger.
Kevin turned the shower on, and waited for the water to heat up. After half-a-minute he reached into the shower. The water was warm. He stepped in.
He proceeded to wash himself. His mannerism in the shower was random. Though many people wash themselves in a consistent manner he did not. He completed showering and stepped out, then dried himself.
He stood naked, dry, and clean. He combed his hair and began to brush his teeth. He held his toothbrush in his left hand, and grabbed a tube of toothpaste. He managed to twist the lid off the toothpaste tube, while still holding the brush. He held the end of the tube over the brush and squeezed. He quickly brushed the entire layer of gunk off his teeth.
Out of the bathroom, Kevin found where he had left his laundry bag. He dug through the bag and found some boxers, blue jeans, a t-shirt, and some socks.
He slipped the boxers over his now clean waist. Put his pants on and slipped the t-shirt over his chest. He went back into the bathroom, where he had left his shoes. Now looking in the mirror he was impressed with himself. “Damn, I’m looking good,” he said aloud. He didn’t look half bad, a lot better than the greased t-shirt, dirty panted, guy he had been earlier.
As he was about to leave his apartment for his meaningless tasks of the day he noticed the note on the wall, and remembered that it was from his girlfriend, or was she about to become his ex-girlfriend… again.