Stuart rubbed at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. The words on the page still weren’t making much sense. He wasn’t sure if it was fatigue or his inability to grasp the benefit of understanding the intricate social system of a German cockroach.
The latch on the door behind Stuart clicked, and then clacked. The sound of shuffling feet materialized in to Darryl sliding across the living room floor. His hands were deep in the pockets of his tattered bath robe. The hems of his pajama pants left trails in the dust. Stuart’s gaze followed as Darryl stopped in the middle of the room. Through greasy bangs a concerned look flashed across his eyes.
“Hey, listen. Ya hear that?”
Stuart looked around the dim room. “Hear what?”
In all fairness, Stuart didn’t know what he should have been listening for. It may not have on any other day, but the noise that resembled the painful regurgitation of a distressed sheep took him by surprise. The shock lasted only a moment before he was hit with an intense aroma.
“For the love of Christ, my mouth was open!”
Stuart turned away, the book in his hands now flattened against his nose. He looked back to see the concern in Darryl’s eyes turn to mischief and a sly smile cross his face.
“Ya like that do ya?” Darryl pursed his lips and raised his nose, “There’s a hint of something special there, it’s sort of Oakey.”
“It’s like you just shit a burning log is what it’s like.”
“Come on now, probably won’t be no lasting effects.”
“Go kick a ball Darryl.”
Darryl dropped his head and continued across the room, “Don’t go gettin’ all hurt, you’ll live.”
“I know I’ll live, it’s you I’m worried about!”
Darryl didn’t answer as he passed through the darkened bathroom door.
Stuart sighed, “I need to find a new place to live.”
Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash