A Small Piece of the Night Life

by Aaron Sabatine

He looked at her small form, the hair piled around her head  looking black in the dim light of the bedroom.  It made him feel better to imagine she was someone else, someone he didn't know.  This comfort bothered him as he watched her body inhale, exhale, shiver in sleep.  He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, curling his toes on the cold hardwood.

Out on the porch he held a flickering flame to a bent cigarette from a sweater pocket.  The air was humid and chilly around him, the clouds illuminated by a hidden moon.  The smoke made his head swim, a moment of euphoria that slipped too quickly into the night.  The icy boards groaned under his feet as he walked to the loud screen door, throwing the burning half-cigarette into a small puddle whose form and location he had memorized.

He had such an affinity for whiskey that the smell of it could make him feel slightly enlightened.  A small taste could throw him into a frenzy, but on this night he drank an entire shot.  He sat down in the big leather easychair in his office, intending to read about ancient Mayan culture under the warm lamplight.  Instead he read a book only about the rainforests of Brazil.  He wanted to be there, suspended in the trees, warm rain falling down. "If I could die right there, that would be the way to go."  He sat back in the chair and laughed, wondering about the cost of plane tickets.