Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold Fingers

            “Ugh, what is that noise,” asked Caroline. She frowned and rose from her warm bed and went to the window. Outside in the cold darkness someone was trying to get their car started. They were revving and revving the car’s engine over and over. The car was clearly an older model and too prone to failure in the freezing temperatures outside. Caroline shivered as she felt the wind find every drafty crack in her window frame. She cursed the cold and then cursed the jerk revving their engine at four thirty in the morning. She cursed everything.

            Caroline quickly moved back to her bad and burrowed under her comforter. She found her vacated warm spot and cozied in. She hoped she could get back to sleep. She hoped she could get just two more hours before she really had to get up and head into the office. It was all she really wanted to do. As usual in those situations her body decided not to agree. The body has a funny way of doing that. It almost says, ‘Oh, you’re awake, well then, let’s get that bladder relieved. I don’t care what time it is.”

             Caroline moaned and thought she could just ignore the urination urge and lure her body back to sleep. Her body however was far more persistent. Caroline got out of bed and went to her bathroom. She sat on the toilet and cringed at how chilly the toilet seat was. She wondered why, in this great magnificent future, every toilet seat wasn’t heated. Why were people of the world cursed to sit on cold toilet seats like the people did a hundred years ago? She remembered that there are some people in the world that don’t have toilet seats at all. They just go to the bathroom in a hole in the ground. She thought at least their asses weren’t cold from touching a toilet seat. Maybe they had the right idea. “Although didn’t those people live in jungles and deserts and France,” she thought. She chuckled to herself and reached for the toilet paper and wiped herself. She got up and flushed. She washed her hands as all proper ladies should and hurried back to bed. Her floors were cold on her bare feet.

             She slipped back under her blankets and rested her head on the pillow, moving her hair off her face. She heard the car on the street, revving again. It was a high whine now. She blinked against the darkness and felt hate creeping in.  It was a real hot hatred for this jackass revving his engine. She imagined it was that one neighbor of hers, that Charlie Something. He was the one who would blast the worst 80’s hair metal music at the block party every year, nearly driving everyone away. She hated that he had managed to delude himself for so long into thinking that he was cool. He wasn’t cool. He was tubby and uncouth and had a fish oil smell about him constantly. He always hit on her friends, even the married ones.

             “Get out of their Charlie. Get out of my head and let me sleep,” said Caroline to the empty room. She rolled over on her right side and clenched her eyes shut. She tried to think about the things she had to do at work in a few hours, but that sort of thinking always made her stay awake. She pushed those thoughts back in her mind. She tried to think about something that wouldn’t keep her mind whirring. She tried to remember what she was thinking about when she first fell to sleep at ten thirty. She thought about her older sister’s summer pool party last year and that guy Brian. Yeah, Brian was cute, but married to that bitch Sasha. At least Caroline thought the crazy woman’s name was Sasha. She was some sort of Earth loving hippie type that reeked of hippie oils and flatulence. She couldn’t figure out what Brian, cute, nice, Brian was doing with her. Caroline was even wearing her best bikini and Brian barely gave her more than a nod. But no, that trippy dippy hippie had her crunchy hair and hands all over Brian. Caroline didn’t think that Sasha even shaved her legs.

             “Just stop,” said Caroline. She shook her head against her pillow and flushed the images of married Brian and Sasha away. She needed something less upsetting to think about; or to not think about anything at all. She had so much trouble just turning her brain off once it got going. The car revving had stopped outside and she could hear the wind howling through the cold streets. She felt dread at the idea of having to get up after no sleep and face the bitter winter blowing outside. She felt like there were times when she just couldn’t win. She wondered if she put herself in a position to win. She wondered if winning was what was important.

             “Of course winning was important. You’re a young woman that has to make it in this man’s world,” said Caroline’s mother’s voice in her head, “You have to be beautiful, poised, smart, risky and brave in all things,” continued her mother. Caroline sighed and wished her mother had actually liked to play with dolls and dress-up instead of her ferocious pursuit of success in the world of man. Caroline felt some resentment for her mother. She didn’t want to think about it now. She just wanted to get to sleep.

             The window rattled from the strong wind outside and Caroline pulled the covers up tighter. She swallowed her resentment and started counting sheep. She actually started doing some math involving sheep. Math problems seemed to help her fall to sleep. “One sheep plus two sheep is three sheep. Three sheep plus four sheep is seven sheep,” she thought. Slowly the sheep began to accumulate and she started to wonder where she would keep all these multiplying sheep. Her eyes got heavy and she felt herself slip into that haze of being between two worlds and sleep finally returned to her.

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