Written in 2010.
The hangover washed over me, my head thumping in time to the baselines that were blasting through the pub last night. Disco night. Dreadful, but there’s always at least a few tasty dishes being served up on the dance floor, so—
“Get up, you wanker!”
Katerine’s palm smacked the headboard again. She must have been hearing the same tune. I peeped open a bleary eye and gazed at her shrouded face hovering over me. She tugged the blanket off of my naked, still-drunk body, and leaned over me again, prepared to beat at least the furniture into submission. Her hair cascaded around her, wisps of it grazing my nose. I could feel the laser-heat from her eyes scorching my temples. Well, that might have been the booze, actually. She began to shout again. Feeling like a newborn without the strength even to lift my own head, I began the slow ascent out of her bed. I winced as her petite frame towered over me.
“You get the fuck out of my house.” She’d stopped shouting, now that I was up. See? Progress.
Or, perhaps not. She continued to glare at me, even as she took a step back and reached for the clothes wadded up in the corner of the room. She threw the balled up garments directly at my head. Not the one over my shoulders. She had pretty good fucking aim when she was angry. The keys in my pant’s pocket hit the target, and I immediately doubled over.
I half expected her to kick me while I was down, but instead, she stalked out of the room, leaving me to collect my few scraps of clothing and dignity, scattered around the room. I pulled on the offending pants, and the stained, smelly Black Sabbath t-shirt they were crumpled up with. Oh well. None of the rest that I packed up was any better, really.
I dragged myself out of the bedroom and through the dim flat, half wondering if Katerine had walked out herself. She hadn’t. I spotted her in profile, sitting at the kitchen table. She was breaking under the weight of her tears. A cigarette was all that held her up, tenuously. Taking a tremulous drag, she dropped an inch of ash onto the cracked maple veneer. I looked away, finally starting to wake up. I made my way to the door and let myself out quietly, leaving it unlocked—she’d never given me a key.
Making my way outside, grateful for the grey day, I glanced at my watch. Fifteen-fifty-one. No fucking wonder.
I made it as far as a block, stopping next to another in the never-ending line of ramshackle brick tenements that defined this neighborhood. Dropping my rucksack, I leaned up against the wall, pressing my shoulder into the brick. Hard.
Fragile women throw me for a loop, but fragile and angry? Worse. Much, much worse. Seeing a woman in that condition makes me feel repentant.
“Well, fuck.” I spat at the weeds growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. There wasn’t much else to do. “Time to hit the pub.”