He fished two small rounded cubes of ice from the
frigid half-bucket of water, shaking the cold and wet from his fingers.
At the mini-bar he found some Jack Daniels and poured this over
the ice, and then spun the glass in his hand slowly. He tried to
concentrate, to spin the glass silently - to make those minute adjustments
that kept the ice cubes from touching the edges of the glass. It
was dark, too dark, and late. Kelly was losing the game - the ice
clinked against the glass over and over, so he stopped twirling
the glass and looked over at the bed.
He didn't want to wake the blonde in the bed. He didn't want to
sleep, had been going on three hours of sleep - less - a night for
nearly two weeks now.
The glass door to the balcony slid open soundlessly and Kelly
stepped through, closing it quickly behind him to keep the subdued
din of a 4:10am city from penetrating the hotel room. He leaned
against the railing, resting on it with his forearms, holding his
glass cupped in both hands. He wasn't drinking from it yet. The
only sound on the balcony was the almost imperceptible clicking
of a championship ring against glass.
He spun the glass in his hands slowly again, effortlessly, the
ice spiralling about the glass, silently now under the invariably
amber city light. A city stretching out into obscurity, toward
trivial suburbs below him - an empty, noisy station that has
lost its daytime listeners and so clings all the more tightly
to the hustlers and the hustled, the drunk, the disappointed,
the wanderers, the bums, the bored. Kelly identified all the
people below him who hadn't yet surrendered their day and clung
to the static hum of the city. Nothing, nothing is better, he
thought, than being unwilling to trade places with anyone.
* * * * *
Day 17 | Kelly
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