Johnny America


The Sleep­er


As usu­al, Jus­tine woke mo­ments be­fore her alarm rang out, as the sec­ond hand of the clock round­ed its fi­nal lap. Its ac­tu­a­tors en­gaged and the bells rang loud from the hold of a rust­ed blue van in a din­er park­ing lot across the city. The clock­’s new own­er was in­side eat­ing burnt toast and eggs. Jus­tine flipped through the pile of plas­tic cas­es lit­ter­ing the cre­den­za. Nick Drake  —  gone, P. J. Har­vey  —  gone. She as­sessed the sur­vivors: Bri­an Set­zer Or­ches­tra, Big Head Todd & The Mon­sters, Gwen Ste­fani  —  all her worst CDs, her laps­es in judg­ment. They had per­fect taste, she mused, slight­ly jeal­ous. Jus­tine di­aled the po­lice, who said they’d be over in the af­ter­noon, then her ex-boyfriend, who said no, he was not the per­pe­tra­tor. She’d hoped he was. She called her moth­er, who said if pa­pa were alive he’d know what to do, then the of­fice, telling the re­cep­tion­ist she’d been held at pis­tol-point but thank god no not raped. She climbed back to bed, eased in­to the cov­ers, then day­dreamed of in­sur­ance claims and new things re­plac­ing old.

Filed under Fiction on March 5th, 2007

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