(published in Concisely magazine issue 6 Spring 2011 and in graphic form in Zine Columbia Spring 2011)
I didn’t get a chance to crap at work since I was constantly pulling files. The partners have an important case to review for. It’s once home that I’m able to devote proper time to my daily duty. Home is a bachelor pad, the first floor of a duplex in a busy residential neighborhood. Rent is affordable. The perk is its proximity to the stadium where my season tickets include tonight’s game. The digital clock reads six forty seven, still time to make the first pitch. I sit down on the toilet, jeans around my ankles, ready to check the stats in the latest issue of Sporting News. Then my front door opens. I freeze to the throne. Rushing, I must have left the keys in the door.
The forty-eight inch plasma screen bolted to my front room wall turns on. The recliner springs squeak from a large amount of weight. The channels flip around settling on the Food Network.
On the toilet in mid-movement, I cannot storm out. My lower back is clammy. My pulse throbs in my ears. The intruder coughs a guttural hack. Through the closed bathroom door — funny how I locked this one — I smell cigarette smoke. Rachel Ray’s voice fills the silence, “Now add the Beaumont cheese.”
I work out a few times a week, but doubt forms in my mind. Fear pulls my cheeks together. What good is a plunger against a gun? My toes nervously wiggle on the red and blue C-printed bath mat.
I’m preoccupied yet nature calls. I fart, echoing against porcelain like a fire cracker set off in a dumpster. A man chokes, aware he isn’t alone. I reach for the jeans bunched at my feet and yank them up. My hamstrings show a red imprint the shape of an open mouthed oval. Inside a cabinet drawer, I find a pair of hair cutting scissors.
Slowly, I open the door. A commercial airs selling Kraft singles. I could die without having properly wiped my ass. That’s all my mother would care about. Holding the scissors over my head, I creep into the hallway. The screen’s glow shines off the hardwood floors. No obstructions create a shadow. My heart is beating. I peek around the wall into the front room and surprisingly, it’s empty, the front door shut. I check the lock. Looking down, I see my keys on the table by the door atop mail I hadn’t brought in.
There is nothing missing. My heart begins beating slower. I slouch onto the couch, resting my head in my hands. A commercial flickers off the glass table centered in the room. I notice a scrap of paper there. Scribbled in someone else’s handwriting is a recipe for potatoes au gratin. The clock blinks seven thirteen. I can still catch the second inning, but there’s no way I can leave now.