Salami… you have an on-again off-again obsession with the stuff. Tonight it is very much on again. You know the cashier has probably seen weirder things in his time, to be open at this hour is the price one pays I suppose. An attempt at polite conversation goes amiss when you realise that neither of you can understand each other. You gesture for him to keep the change, not because you really want to, but because you don’t want the clang of wealth to sing from your pockets as you waddle toward sanctuary.
The ill placement of your heavy feet continues as you head roughly in the right direction, smiling happy at the thought of eating some spiced meat and going to bed, possibly at the same time. You beast. It’s a straight pavement from here on out, you stare down the centre to detect any obstacles in the distance that might hinder your fantastic progress. There’s a man, just a man. Some trees that look like they might try to get in your way, but mostly interested in the man.
It’s difficult to tell if he’s walking toward or away from you, it looks more like away, which is slightly reassuring as the reasons for people being out within a certain 8 hour range are a lot smaller than the other 16. The thought of having to give up your salami worries you more than losing your wal… Heeeeeeey now, where the hell did he go?
You’re suddenly more aware at how much noise you’re making as you walk, it’s not entirely your fault… it’s near 5am, the busy sounds of a conscious people do not exist here. Images of this man hiding behind the yard wall of any house in front of you pop into your head, you’re making too much noise! He’s going to know exactly when to leap out.
You walk on regardless, the mind calms itself by reminding you that you’re a person who’s out at this hour, just trying to get home. That man is most likely in the same situation. Possibly. He could have already made it home, yeah, maybe that’s it. Though at the distance he was at… you know damn well you’d of noticed the sound of a door opening and closing. You could have missed it though? You are pretty fucking drunk. You beast.
He was about… right here, you think, as you end up further down the street. This was the last place you saw him, it’s pretty close to the cut-through alleyway actually, he could have just gone down that way, the brave soul, which would explain no doors opening and closing. Minor relief.
Then, the sound of something immediately chaotic filled the air, you picture it as a big plastic bin falling over and all of its content spilling out onto the floor.
Two houses down you find yourself walking past a very startled man, stood motionless and eyes wide open staring right back at you, surrounded by a pile of litter and a fallen bin with the body language that would suggest a mistake had just taken place. It feels like now would be the perfect time to say something, but words are lost.
All fear leaves you as you walk on without saying a thing. That man felt scared and fragile, you could see it in his eyes, like a kitten learning about claps and vacuum cleaners for the first time. Fuck knows what he was doing, there are only a very small number of theories that come to mind, none of them explain the end result very well.
Not important. You’re home now, 2 key turns and you’ll be dandy.
It’s 9:03 am and the flatmate has just paused for thought on his way to the kitchen…