Phone calls and belly lint? A snippet in the life of Murray.
Murray was waiting for a phone call. The black receiver of the telephone was clouded beneath a shroud of dust. The only thing ringing was his ears. Nevertheless, he was a patient man; he could wait. But, Murray wished he could remember why this call was so important.
He sat on the corner of the couch, his legs spread from his crotch in a “V” shape. The Camels on the end table beckoned him and Murray groped in the pocket of his robe to retrieve his lighter. He lit a cigarette and took two long, sexual drags before flicking the smoking cylinder onto the carpet where it burned a crater of black bristles. The phone still did not ring. He scratched his bare belly and dredged several wads of lint from his navel. These joined the cigarette on the floor.
A monolithic tiredness, too heavy for sleep, pressed upon Murray. His eyes burned and his mouth tasted of sewage. Yet, he steeled himself against the bedroom. The phone would ring. Someone had promised.
The gnawing hunger finally forced Murray to stand. With slow deliberateness Murray extricated himself from the couch. A crater impression remained.
Murray shuffled into the apartment’s kitchenette. Dishes were seasoning in the sink, mold thriving on several dinner plates. The trash can was gorged by garbage. Crumpled napkins, beer cans and remains of food pooled on the ground, a feast for flies. A hazy cloud of dust mites swirled in a slice of late afternoon light, peeking from a curtain. Murray slid the curtain, firmly barricading the sunshine. The room was instantly cast into a sickly gray-green hue.
He pulled the fridge open and stood staring into the coldness. The racks were empty except for a pitcher of iced tea and a jar of salsa. Someone had eaten his gouda. Him? Maybe. He stepped back and allowed the refrigerator door to close with a dull thud.
Murray peered at the closed fridge. Cream pocked by magnets. In the left corner was a hastily scribbled note. The edges were worn as if crumpled by fingers many times. Murray’s eyes widened at the sight of the note. The ringing in his ears became like a sonic shriek. He remembered.
Gone to yoga class. I’ll call if will be late. Love you.
Murray stumbled back to the couch, his head roaring. She said she would call. Of course she would call. She was only a year late.