John Erhardt

The sheets stank, a resin from the night before. He had a biblical name (Daniel? David?) and, as usual, was gone before the sun peeked its way into the room. She sat up, head pounding, and looked at the disarray in her bedroom. Her skirt that she so delicately put on last night, complete with make-up and perfume, was thrown in a crumpled heap on the floor. A fly crawled through the skirt, rising and falling from view as he conquered each wrinkle.

She rolled out of bed, head heavy in her hands, and staggered into the bathroom. Wasting no time, she kneeled in front of the toilet and emptied her evening into the bowl. The room quickly became scented with beer. She lay there for a while, leaning against the wall, arm draped over the toilet, and waited for her stomach to settle. She stared off into the corner, at the cabinet where she kept her towels. She sat up and crawled the agonizing few feet across the room, and donned a large beach towel, so she wouldn't have to get up and face the morning naked and defenseless.

She lay back against the wall, and cradled her head in her hands. After a few silent, reflective minutes, she stood. She walked unsteadily out of the bathroom, out of her bedroom, and into her kitchen. She stopped at the sink and removed her panties from the basin, tossing them into the garbage. She picked up the boxers from the table. Great, she thought. Another pair. The boxers joined her underwear in the trash. She entered the living room and located one of her shoes by the couch. After a few moments of surveying, she saw the other shoe by the door, laying on her stockings. Christ, she thought. I wasted no time with him. She walked the familiar walk back to her bedroom, pausing to grab her bra which was hanging on the doorknob to the front closet.

Once in her bedroom, she collapsed on her bed, head and stomach full of complaints. Rooting around in her bed, she located the top heavy condom, and disposed of it. Ripping the sheets off of her bed, she threw them in a heap on the floor, directly on top of her skirt. She fell into them and sighed as she spoke.

"Happy birthday, Julie."