Simon sat listlessly on the floor stirring up his cold broccoli. He found yet another hair in it and pulled the long reddish-tinged wiry coil out of his food wondering once again who he knew had red hair and would be shedding in his broccoli. By the age of 38 Simon had accomplished little in his lifetime and promised for even less progress as his tenure wound on. His distinct capacity to harbour great quantities of time producing no income was made believable simply by watching him clean his house. He had the cleanest apartment in the world. Bar none. Diligent hours were spent at his cleaning craft. He would clean everything, leaving no chance speck of dust or smudge of fingerprint even on the underside of a chair. He had collected a very special and unique assortment of cleaning tools most of which were stolen during hospital stays he had had through the years. Lawrence was now a successful business broker and yet still regretted what he had done to Simon in his youth. Simon received a $2000 check every two weeks and it was placed directly into his investments by Lawrence’s private firm. Food was delivered to his door once a day and each day there was a particular arrival that differed from the other days of the week. The food was never brought inside, as this was a sure way of bringing dust into Simon’s sanitized realm.
Taking out a curved needle-point tweezers, Simon was on his knees pushing the rug apart with his once-large hand and probing with the tweezers for small stones or dust balls. He had already covered the entire rug twice today but thought it was important to check once more as he had found an ant crawling in it early last month and the shock had almost been to much for him. The doors had been quickly resealed and all ventilation was investigated for leaks or breaks. Nothing had been found that made Simon certain the infestation had been stopped and he continued to have dreams of finding a large white larvae under his couch deep amongst the fibers.
A knock came to the door and he closed his hands tightly about his ears, nearly squealing in pain. He despised being interrupted when he was busy and started to hyperventilate from the effort of keeping calm. The knocking continued and he finally rose to his feet and tread towards the door. He opened the tweezers slowly in his hand as he walked and once they were fully opened quickly squeezed them shut and then did the process again. He reached the door and opened it slightly.
A very lovely woman stood smiling at him, “Simon? Hi, my name is Melissa Gordon. Could I come in for a moment?” His heart began to race and his eyes opened wide. He knew she could tell how pale his face was becoming. He slowly looked down at her shoes and let out a slight whimper. His keen eyes could detect each discolouration across them defining the amount of dust clinging gently to it just waiting for the opportunity to fly off onto his carpet. He could already see some free-floating specks streaming in through the small crack of door he had opened for them. Closing his eyes he prayed there were no ants out there though his hallucinating nerves could feel them crawling all over him and planting their eggs in his ears.
He finally breathed harshly again after holding his breath the whole time his mind was racing. She started back and he muttered quickly and stuttering, “C-couldwejustdothisanothertimeplease?” And without waiting he closed the door and collapsed against it hyperventilating once more and letting his nails claw against it as he slid down the the floor. Once his face had fallen against the linoleum he stared blankly at the beam of light falling across him in which half a dozen dust specks still circled. It would take him weeks to get rid of that much dust. He felt something crawling across his face and jerking in terror, he began to scream as in pain slapping at himself. Finally he checked and found it had only been a tear falling from his eye across his cheek and in his exhaustion he decided to take a bath.
Easing himself into the heated water he washed away the worries that had condensed upon his quivering mind. The soft murmur of the rising bubbles reaching the surface from various parts of his anatomy soothed him to a gentle lull and he drunkenly stumbled into sleep. In his dreams he saw the fair girl again, only she wore heavy metallic boots and lashed a vicious whip about her. Spiked heals were hanging off her earlobes as trophies of her domination and a flame flickered across her chest between her tightly arching nipples. “Simon you little prick, why don’t you shove some of that manhood my way or did you have it all chopped off with the rest of your miserable brain?”
He jerked upright in the shower and burst out laughing. The laughter stopped as suddenly as it had started, though, as he had know idea what he found funny or why he was suddenly taking a shower when he had started with a bath. He looked down to find his trousers soaking wet and rolls of cotton hanging out of the pockets. He groaned and started pulling them out but they continued to reel more and he felt an odd tug ever so often in his leg.
Just then a traumatic flashback left him convulsing on the bottom of the tub, roughly clumping his head several times as he recalled the vision he had when he had first awoken from his operation years ago. His mother, the doctor, Lawrence, and several other people amongst whom was a young beautiful girl from whom he tried to hide his hand.
Leaping up he dived into his perfect bedroom leaving a carefree trail of water sure to blemish the luxurious feel of the carpet. But Simon currently felt like he had just woken from a 20 year dream in which he had sat listlessly by waiting for it to be his turn to try and spell ‘Lobotomy’.
Violently he forced himself into some decent clothes and then dashed for the door colliding headlong with it and falling painfully to the floor. The collision brought a shock of pain across his scar and he screamed for it. Still throbbing, he pulled himself to his feet. His shaky vision distorted seven or more doorknobs but he finally grasped one that replied with a resistance and opened. Falling to the hallway floor he immediately smelled the tremendous amount of dust and filth, but shook this thought out of his head and the pain back threefold. Writhing he again pulled himself up and started down the stairs. Only he hadn’t quite reached the stairs and went flolloping over the banister and down to the story below. His tailbone cracked as it met with the lower stairs and he bent his neck in less than safe distortions before coming to a still landing on the lower floor. Groaning he fought his way up and stumbled forward sinking his face into the bosom of the woman he was pursuing.
“Simon?” She said politely but shaken. He pulled his face from between her surrounding masses and try to look her in the face. He could not, as he was not at all certain whether she actually had a face what with all the things jumping around and screaming loudly in his head. He tried to put his face back in that wonderfully warm place it had been, but instead collapsed forward and chipped his tooth on the marble floor. She pulled him up and helped him over to a chair where he goggled at the shape looming over him attempting to get it in focus. She touched his cheek and said his name again, to which he simply smiled and passed out.
“Simon? Are you alright?” His vision slowly cleared to reveal a ghastly close-up of that awful blue creamy Jell-O they used to make him eat as a kid. He convulsed at the sight and turned away. Standing over him was the beautiful girl with a smile on her face. “Hello there. Are you feeling better?” He felt confused and looked back at the Jell-O. It was actually a blue covering on his pillow and he had just been looking too closely at it when he woke up. Turning back to the girl he tried to remember what could have gotten him into a hospital again. He always seemed to be in one, but he wanted to know what to put in his diary as the reasoning. So far it the list went: 43 times for fluids draining from crack in skull, 26 times for massive head pains and and loss of feeling on his right side, 17 times for congested sinuses. He usually got in trouble with the doctors for the last one, but he found congestion to be the most unbearable disturbance in his life. He could not stand the idea of suffocating and would scream at the nurses until they would help him to breath better, certain he was about to turn blue and pass out from lack of oxygen. He had suffered little from this last problem in recent years due to his spotless home.
“I feel rather itchy.” He said aloud. The girl took this as an answer to her questions and went to get a doctor. “Yes I am feeling rather itchy.” He said again and started to get up from his bed. Various tubes were protruding from him which made his normal style of movement rather unethical and he quickly adjusted to a new form which accommodated not only the tubes but the large equipment they led to. He had made it halfway down the street outside the hospital before they had found him and started bringing him back. “You see I have these itches on several areas of my body.” He explained quite frankly and began pointing in the direction he had been going as the logical solution to this problem.
“We’ll take care of those itches for you Simon, don’t you worry.” A bearded man who quite possibly could have been a doctor, but most likely and orderly, grinned and patted his back as he ushered Simon back towards the hospital.
“No, you see its this itching that I am concerned about.” He began to get impatient with his inability to get this man to understand just what kind of a situation this was. “Itching!” He stressed.
“We know all about itches, Simon, I promise you we will take care of you.”
Frustrated, Simon hung his head and thought a bit more about it. Drawing a new angle he began again, “You see normally it doesn’t feel itchy. Normally it is just fine. But now I have this itch and I -”
“Simon- Simon please! Now Simon, I promise I will take care of your itching if you will just calm down and stay in your bed.”
The beautiful girl was waiting for him at the hospital and the vision of her made him forget about his itches. He knew she was the girl in the hospital the first time this all had happened. He knew she was the one from whom he tried to hide his hand.
They put him back on his bed and injected something in his arm. He didn’t care. She was sitting in a chair at the foot of the bed waiting for them to finish. He didn’t even want to talk to her. He just wanted her to stay at the foot of the bed where he could just stare at her. She was so much older looking than he remembered. Almost like she could be her own mother. She was smiling at him again, and as the doctors finally left she got up and came beside him.
“Hi.” She said. He grinned up and her, studying the fine curves of her face. “I just wanted to meet you. You’ve done so much for me without even knowing it.” He had know idea what she was talking about and really didn’t care either way. “I don’t know if they ever told you but I thought you should know.” She smiled again and obviously looked uncomfortable. “You see, its thanks to you that I am alive today.” “Phhh pffffff phhh.” He said, trying to blow a piece of her hair that had fallen off on his lip. She pulled the hair from him and continued, “They didn’t think you were going to live, so they used some of your brain to save me. I was in a car wreck and nearly died. Several months later they discovered you hadn’t really died and were just sitting in the storage lab. They still don’t know what you ate, but they were able to save your life too.” She smiled again. “I just wanted to meet you and say thanks.”
With that she got up and, leaving a final smile, she left.
He wondered what she exactly meant by storage lab. He certainly didn’t remember eating anything at the hospital. At least not at that stay. He was fairly certain she was pulling his leg and glanced down to check. In reality it was another patient, who was trying to get his attention. “I used to have flees you know. Just like a damn dog I did. Really I did!”The man leaned up as if to defend his claim. “I did!”
Groaning, Simon stuffed the pillow over his head and wondered how much more stupid he could be with his life. How could he have ever felt such a beautiful and charming woman would have a real interest in him. He groaned again and kicked out with his foot catching the other patient in the jaw and throwing him to the floor.
“I will not let it end like this!” He leapt up and and slammed the door to his room open, carelessly allowing the tubes to be snapped out of him. She was just going out the front door. A orderly stepped in his way to stop him again so he fell to the ground and slid between the man’s legs. When he got outside she was just getting onto a bus. He raced with all his speed and courage, but the bus had already begun to leave. He jumped to catch the back of it, his grip sliding across the slick surface, and fell tumbling across the road. Traffic squealed around him, but his only thought was to get up and pursue. There must be another bus stop up ahead and if he could only keep up he might reach it. The bus continued to outdistance him and cars honked angrily at him. Turning around he glared at the car behind him and jumped upon its hood. The driver leaned back in his seat and fumbled with the power locks. Simon pointed ahead at the receding bus and grabbed hold of the emblem of the car. The driver accelerated slowly and followed the bus. Simon ushered for him to speed up and the man reluctantly did so. They reached a speed faster than that of the bus and the ushered for even more speed to close the gab. Disturbed, the driver nonetheless responded and the gap started to close just as the bus started braking for its next stop. The driver nudged his brake carefully, yet Simon still slid forward and fumbled across the road. Screeching to a complete halt, the driver then quickly merged with the left lane and shot out down the road. Dashing to his feet, Simon came around the bus and got on board.
“Hey, you got to pay man!” Ignoring the driver he searched among the passengers for his darling Melissa.
“Simon?” He searched for the voice and rushed over to it.
“Melissa you have to understand —” He leaned pleading towards her, “I —” Stumbling he felt himself bursting with new emotion. “I —” His heartbeat grew louder and his head grew dizzy, “I —”
“Yo buddy, why don’tcha just pay the driver so we can get going?”
He grabbed hold of her hand and bent down on one knee, “I have this terrible ear ache.”