It was seven minutes past midnight when Carl showed up on her doorstep. He was drunk. Carl, though, had always been a frighteningly sober drunk. Drunk, he’d driven miles across nights and deep snows and put together theoretical models on research he should have done weeks earlier, and sober, and entertained guests and even talked a co-worker back from behind a locked door and a bottle of pills.
Carl was drunk on her doorstep and he would not have been there otherwise, something both he and she were well aware of and mutually disheartened by. He wasn’t supposed to be on this side of town and he wasn’t supposed to be on her doorstep – which was not, in fact, her doorstep. It was the doorstep of the house she was sleeping in and only a few steps from the couch she was currently sleeping on. But he banged on the door and she answered it, because she knew the sound of him, his boots, and she was expecting him in the way one expects it to rain right after washing the car. Read the rest of this entry »