Gloss Feint

The door opened. The door was sticky. Someone had painted the door. There was no sign that they had painted the door. And I got gloss paint on my jeans and on my hand. The right one. So I put my shopping in the other hand and hopped to the kitchen. Then I put the bags down. Then I changed my jeans. Put the painty ones in a bag so they wouldn’t smear the carpet with gloss paint. So I wouldn’t lose my deposit. They would charge me for getting paint on the carpets. On the cheap carpets. Next stop was the bathroom. My new jeans got a bit smeared from the gloss on my hand. The right one. I washed the gloss off with a normal soap. It didn’t do a great job. I wiped the residue off with four bits of ‘quilted’ toilet paper.
The flat hummed in its sad silence.
I put the shopping away. Some mango pieces. A few cartons of juice. A bottle of wine. Two of beer.
My head rang with the day. Normal. Hideous. Normal.
The smell of gloss paint filled the flat. I opened a window. The sea was still. No horizon. The sea mist was heavy. The smell of barbecues rushed in through the gap in the window.
I stood in front of the window for a rest. I opened it fully and stood there, watching the barges edge across the water.
“Hello man.” a voice said. “There’s the man. Say hello to the man.”
Another voice said, “Hello MAN!”
I closed the window. I closed the smell of barbecues. I closed the sound of ‘hello MAN.’
Mahler was playing on the radio. I listened to his Symphony Number Nine. Then I had a few drinks.
My phone went off. Three times it went off. I looked at the messages. My corner-men. “one more round.” They said.
One more round, I feinted.

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