The tile is cold against your cheek and you consider porcelain: What is it? Who invented it? Why does it exist?
Your Mickey Mouse alarm clock clangs from the bedroom, and the tinny din is still not the long distance call from Tuscaloosa.
You wonder how long the bells will clash until the clock devours its batteries.
Did you buy the clock as some sort of kitschy satire? You do not remember. If you had a better memory, maybe things would be different. Maybe that was the problem.
You consider odds and evens and porcelain and the pills scattered across tile. From your perspective the pills rise like enormous spaceships parked on a weird horizon.
Remember: you are not dying.
The tile is cold against your cheek and you blink several times. Your eyelids are the synchronized wings of a moth, two dusty skeins fluttering a final time in the deepening cold of autumn.
You lie on the cold tile like a rainbow trout, no longer flopping against your lack of water, gasping at lengthening intervals, your color condensing into the slowing pulse of your lungs.
You continually think of dying animals.
The pills on the floor are just Robotussin PM and you are not killing yourself, you are clumsy.
If he came back from Tuscaloosa (stop saying if, there is no if) and found you here, he would mistake your clumsiness for suicide. You would laugh at the thought, if you could remember how.
It is a very funny thought. One is odd and two is even, and you are very odd now.
You reached for the bottle and the Robotussin PM evaded your uncertain fingers, splattering against the cold tile and spreading little spaceships into the air.
Each pill moved independently in the explosion. Each pill went wherever the hell it wanted. Even to Tuscaloosa, if the pill wanted. Each pill was as free as anything.
By reflex, you kneeled to pick up the pills, and discovered you could not see straight. Your face was strangely damp.
You decided to lie down on the tile, and then at 7:30 in the morning Mickey Mouse tries to tell you about work and you realize that you have been up all night.
Mickey has been talking about work for a while now. That may have been minutes or hours or days ago. You are not suicidal you just had to lie down.
You think you see an ant navigating the space between the plaster wall and the tile, but it is just lint. Or maybe a spider. You name the spider Jerry.
You pray that Jerry is a spider, and that he is not lint, but you know it is too good to be true. It is your fault, assuredly. You really tried this time. God, you really fucking tried.
You squint, and Jerry is definitely lint.