William Fitzgerald Closes for the Night

He was just finishing off a bottle of scotch which made it as near as he could figure about ten pee em. He wasn’t as drunk as he was going to be o no not so drunk as all that but he was as drunk as he needed to be. It was time to close the office lock it down for the night draw the blinds turn off the lights there will be no more clients no more dirty people no more horrid faces wanting and waiting and hating.

(His misanthropy was legion; it multiplied, self-generated, reincarnated. His drinking fueled his bile as it calmed him physically; his posture, diction, and self-control all improved while his social outlook soured.)

He moved through the darkened office from window to window closing Venetian blinds by twisting the little rods that hung from the windows and watching the city narrow and disappear behind the turning plastic. Light from the city below travelled up his body and over his face as the blinds rotated up leaving a thin oily film that he would feel even as he crawled into his cold bed tonight with another half bottle of scotch inside him. To sleep without dreaming. A blank space of nonconsciousness when all the lines on his face relaxed and his arms curled around his head and the smell of cigarettes coffee and alcohol rose steaming from the mattress he couldn’t be bothered to clean.

(His walk was noiseless upon the wooden floorboards of his office. He stood tallest in these hours between the end of his working day and the end of his waking day, as tall as he would have been, perhaps, had he been someone else, in a different city, in a different time, in a different life.)