Russian Roulette

I peeled my head off the pillow and tried to blink away the sleep med hypno fog. I slammed one hand on top of my alarm to silence it. Blackout curtains hid the street lamp glow. Rain hammered on the fire escape.

My head spun as I pushed myself off the mattress. I steadied myself with one hand on the wall and followed the smell of the auto-brew magic machine into the kitchen. I tossed the 3×5 card I’d left on my coffee mug onto the floor.

Lunch in ‘Fridge. Clothes in Dryer

Reminders littered my kitchen. On the counter. On the refrigerator. They hung between receipts and ticket stubs on the cork board on my wall. I overpoured the coffee with my eyes half shut. It ran down the counter and onto the floor. I tracked it onto the carpet and back to bed.

One swig of coffee and I set the mug on the night stand. Empty ZzzQuil shot glasses littered the floor. Blood stained my white pillow case, barely visible in the gloom. I’d shaven the night before, so that I wouldn’t forget in the morning. I fell back down on the mattress and buried my face in the pillows.

I had just fallen back into a swirling benzo-coma when the shrill Braaakk!Braaakk!BRAAAAKKK! of my backup alarm startled me from sleep. I shuddered involuntarily, struggling upright, and staggered back to the kitchen to silence the bad noise.

I stood in the puddle of coffee and poured a second cup. I choked it down over the sink, dribbling hot liquid down my chest. I finished off the dregs of the pot and shuffled back into the bedroom. Weak sparks of consciousness fired in my head. I leaned over my night stand and lifted the first cup of coffee to my lips. It had cooled enough for me to take it in two long swigs.

My third alarm sounded. My warning that I should be walking out the door. I shuffled into the bathroom, unmotivated. The red bulbs over my mirror were easy on my bleary eyes. Blood had caked on my chin and jawline. I splashed water on my face and scrubbed myself clean. I ran eye drops in both eyes to clear the fog.

I dragged only what uniform items I needed from the dryer and put myself hastily together. I hadn’t packed my bag the night before. I only realized that I’d forgotten my keys when I reached for them to lock my front door on the way out. I went back inside and retrieved them, along with my money clip and ID.

I locked my front door and shoved my keys in my pocket. I immediately fished them back out and went back into my apartment to grab my phone.

The caffeine was working by the time I slid into my truck. I made it to work ten minutes before formation. I waved an appointment slip at my supervisor and headed back to my truck. There was no traffic, and I was home in record time.

I drew my curtains closed, struggled with my boots, and crawled back under the duvet.