“Hey, Mattie, mind if I hop in your bed? All the downstairs rooms are taken,” I lug my legs over to the pullout mattress, exhausted from a night of drinking.
I start to take off my shirt, knowing Matt would give me the green light to crash in the bed, which has been deemed by the boys to be his because he happened to sleep there the first night we got to the condo we are renting.
“Dude, of course. Mind hitting the light?”
I make a slow turn, like a cruise ship changing direction, and trudge to the light switch. I flip the switch, leaving nothing but utter darkness. Hands up in front of me to prevent a lamp from being knocked over or my face smashing into a wall, I start to wander through the void in the direction I believe the mattress is in.
I take a few steps and don’t hit a thing. I pick up a little speed. Start to cruise. “Almost there, Rand,” I tell myself feeling confide—
—“Ahhhh, fucking shit,” I yell as I grab onto my shin. I bite down and inhale deeply through the sides of the mouth to try to quell the sharp pain from the contact my shin just made with what must have been the iron edge of the pullout mattress.
Matt doesn’t budge an inch. He is out. Cold. The comatosive effects of a medley of 12 beers and 15 milligrams of top-notch Colorado Bob-Hope never fail to amaze me.
I pull back the sheet and slip into the bed. I lie on my back. The lumpy mattress and iron bar that accompany all pullout beds mold into my sedated, eight-Bud-Lights infused body.
I close my eyes, slipping from one darkness to the next. Skiing and drinking all day has taken its toll. My body needs the rest.
But my mind seems to respectfully disagree.
I think of the day. The sun scintillating down the ski slopes. Grabbing drinks at T-Bar to celebrate a day of no accomplishments. Hitting the hot tub. Playing some pool.
My mind keeps trundling along, image to image until — Shit. Did I send that email to Mark? God, I knew I shouldn’t have been finishing up that assignment after four beers. But pure, raw logic starts to quell my work anxiety: ten beers won’t help me make a better decision now, so might as well not worry.
And my mind pushes forth. Did Valerie ever respond to my text? I don’t think she did. But the fact that I care that she hasn’t responded must mean I have feelings for her. Next time I see her I’m going to tell her. But I don’t even know if I actually like her, so I shouldn’t just profess I have feelings for her. Although… Fuck. I really need to sleep.
I roll onto my back, thinking maybe that will somehow make a difference. Stop thinking and sleep, I internally yell.
I hear a clock ticking and tocking, ticking and tocking, which somehow had not existed during the three prior nights in the condo.
I feel my shin throb.
“Hughhhhhhh,” a nasally noise leaks out of Matt’s body.
“HUGHHHHHH,” the noise grows louder.
Tic, tic, tic.
“Hgggggggh,” the noise has found its arrhythmic rhythm, promoting it from isolated noise to an official snore.
I try to ignore it. To just let exhaustion pull my body into the abyss of sleep.
“Hmmmmmm… Hgggggggggg,” the snore punctures the attempt.
I prop myself up with my arm. Should I tell him to rollover? I don’t know him very well. Just a friend of a friend. And this is technically his bed according to Bro Code. But he’ll understand of course. Although snorers never understand the full extent of how disruptive their snoring is to others, they all have been told to rollover at one point or another.
Maybe I can drown out the snoring with music. I reach around the floor for my jeans, letting one hand glide in front of the next until I feel the cool, worn-out denim in my fingertips. From the right pocket I pull my phone and headphones.
Nocturne by Franz Liszt comes on. Goddang, this song is beautiful.
“Hughhhhhhhhh,” overpowers the music.
I turn up the volume.
“HUGggggggssssshhhhhhhh,” fills the gap in piano.
I take out the headphones and prop myself back up. I look at Matt. He seems to be floating in the deepest realm of sleep. But fuck it. Enough is enough. I need to sleep too.
I reach out my hand. I go to tap his shoulder. But I stop. I pull back. I bite my lip. Should I do it?
Alright. That’s it.
I reach out and tap his shoulder. “Matt.”
“…” The snoring stops as if his body needed to sense whether there was danger before it could resume snoring.
“Hshhhhhhhhh,” a deep sigh indicates the snoring is about to recommence.
“Matt.” I tap harder.
“Yo, Matt, roll over,” I raise my voice.
I tap harder.
“Matt,” I yell and punch his shoulder.
“Matt, roll over, Bro.”
Nothing. I lie back.
I wonder if his dad is a bear.
I get up. Wander over to the window and look at the ski slope gently asleep in its white nightgown under the dark blue sky. I grab the blanket and pillow from the pullout and go into Kaye and Mike’s room.
I spread the blanket on the floor and get on top of it. I can’t hear Matt’s snoring or the invisible clock from here. The window is open and the crisp mountain air calms me down. My body starts to relax. Sleep starts to engulf my brain. I can feel it sinking slowly, slowly. Into the warm quicksand of sleep. I’m just watching it, content.
“Ahhhhhh,” Kaye groans as a fart escapes from his body.
It’s going to be a long night.
Big Rand holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a Certificate in International Law from SciencesPo and the Sorbonne, and a B.A. in philosophy and economics from Colgate University. He is an aspiring writer who has been published in the Brushfire Literature and Arts Journal, Burningword Literary Journal, Sunspot Literary Journal, Genre: Urban Arts, and the Morningside Monocle. Hope you enjoy!