Comfortably Disturbed


Martin Hanley - Comfortably DiisturbedCopyright ©Martin Hanley 2014

Hangovers are messy but you know exactly why you get them especially if you suffer from them regularly or think about them long enough. Reason, the philosophically minded will say, is for the great and good but it isn’t everything, especially on those wild nights when the moon is full and the rye is fat.

A Motel door still ajar; had been like that all night, an inch or so open allowing the yellowish light of dawn and the mid – December chill to creep deep inside. Teeth chattering, J.D Origo, Jeff to his friends, slowly detached his head from the drool soaked pillow; at least he hoped it was drool. Rising on one shaky elbow, J.D wiped cack and sleep from his bloodshot green eyes. Their gig in Albany his hometown had gone well, more than well and the crowd at the Merry Monk had been totally up for it, a real hoot. They’d celebrated the success in a royal old fashion and the rest of his night was now a rather murky blur.

Naked and shivering the logic and reason of his situation took a firm hold of him and shook him into a faltering action. He dragged himself slowly with his pillow up off the floor and back into the over sized double bed. His teeth chattered incessantly as he searched beneath the south-western style duvet for his smart phone, his Sinn 556 chronometer and his wallet; all to no avail. The Sinn had been a gift from Sally, a very beautiful and expensive present and now it was nowhere to be seen. He’d been in situations like this before and the missing belongings normally resurfaced after one had concluded the three S’s. However as J.D pulled on his briefs he knew he needed to locate the engraved watch before he handed the key back in. His malfunctioning inner clock told him he was late for his pre-arranged call with Sally. She’d mentioned a surprise the last time they spoke and Sally was not someone who joked about surprises. He frowned as he pictured her most likely climbing the walls at this late hour, as he’d always been prompt and timely before.

Sally Peracttio, three years his senior; a beautiful, intelligent woman who’d lived a full and interesting life before they met. Poised and classy in the way she interacted with people, however behind closed doors she was a creature of wild emotions and heartfelt passion especially when her defenses were down and they’d been like that since they met. Vulnerability was her super power with Jeff but it was also the kryptonite that threatened to destroy her and their burgeoning relationship.

She was, as he’d often told his buddies unlike any other woman he’d ever dated. It wasn’t the age difference or their careers that brought them together. It was something ethereal, something of the soul, a real connection. Initially Sally had been quite stoic, stand offish at times, but once they’d slept together, everything changed and all bets were off.

Now in the cold light of day, Jeff wrapped the duvet around himself and tripped his way towards the neon glow of the small en-suite. He looked in the mirror and inhaled the steam from the hot water faucet. Closing his eyes momentarily, he reckoned she’d be pacing right now, third cappuccino in hand, cigarette on the edge of her lips and a mouthful of whispered expletives waiting to explode.

Jeff had always had a talent for fucking up especially when it came to the women in his life that he really liked. In Jeff’s world, using the word “love” was monumental and too many people abused its usage in his opinion. Despite initial reservations about Sally’s clingy friends they’d soon become an item in the restaurants and cafes near her mid-town office. Eventually he’d even won her friends over and he began to feel that she was special but he sometimes wondered was she really the special one, the one he wrote songs about.

The neon glowed harshly and did him no favors. The sink filled and he threw piping hot water onto his face scalding his hands in the process and saturating the floor. Switching the faucet to cold, he held his hands beneath it to soothe the throbbing pain. Polka dot shadows of the night before flooded his memory. He hadn’t been alone and they’d partied in his room; the evidence was strewn everywhere.

The question was had he or had he not.
He removed the white towel and checked below, then the en suite and finally the room. The guilty condom lay there like a tiny beached whale on the side of the small vanity table. Could the sex have been that bad that he couldn’t remember a single sweaty moment of it; he must have blacked out. Now the call to Sally took on a whole different resonance, how the fuck was he going to hide his guilt from the most perceptive woman he’d ever known.

It was then that he found his smart phone; settings on video and there he was frolicking with a very willing raven haired accomplice. They were both drunk as monkeys legs wrapped around each other in a fumbling kama-sutra. She was calling the shots as they finally fell from the bed in a moment of pure sexual slapstick. They’d enjoyed their carnal selfie fully. No regrets as they collapsed in the afterglow of their amateur performance. Jeff shook his head as he sat there still damp and shivering. Dressing quickly, his panicked mind searched wildly for strategies and plausible excuses, but none came. All he could think about was self-preservation and the video. He selfishly prayed that she had n’t shared it online before she disappeared into the night

Feeling a little nauseous he deleted it and dejectedly signed on to face book. Sally he could see was offline but a waiting stream of messages assaulted him. They were like a long tail back of honking yellow cabs in down town Manhattan. He could sense her growing anger and her last message was sent at 11.11am.  – It said it all in no uncertain terms; PLEASE DON’T CALL OR CONTACT ME AGAIN…BYE… Did she know? Is that even possible? Did someone tell her, he wondered; one of the band members, maybe trying to move in on her. His head throbbed as he slammed the motel door shut catching his shirt sleeve and ripping it. He cursed his stupidity, for drinking way too much whiskey and jumping straight into bed with some nameless girl he’d never meet again. He gathered himself and typed a message for Sally; – SORRY I MISSED YOU BABE, I’LL CALL YOUR OFFICE . DON’T BE SILLY EVERYTHING’S FINE! LOVE YOU ❤ xxx. SEE YOU SOON!!!

As he pressed SEND, he heard three knocks on his motel room door. His face dropped as a young woman’s voice called to him, “Hey J.D you up in there? Let me in I’m freezing my ass off out here. I borrowed your wallet to get us some food …Come on let me in!

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