Paul hugs Robert and Robert says “I’ll email you about next Thursday” and Paul leaves. Robert calls Sara.
Sara says “Hello?”
Robert says “Hi Sara.”
Sara says “Hi, how are you?”
Robert says “You know, I’m okay, you know.”
Sara says “Yeah.” She sounds distracted. Robert hears people talking in the background. Robert wishes he were in situations where people are both around him and are calling him.
Robert says “What are you, um, what are you doing?”
Sara says “I’m actually in Lindenwold right now, I’m between one train and another train. Why what’s up?”
Robert “Nothing I don’t know. I feel I don’t know.”
Sara says “What?”
Robert says “Okay then. Alright.”
Sara says “You’re crazy.”
Robert says “Alright then.” Robert says “I don’t know do you want to hang out sometime? Tomorrow or sometime”
Sara says “Yeah, probably not tomorrow actually, I’ll still be in Jersey, but I’m not doing anything Sunday, do you want me to give you a call Sunday?”
Robert says “Sure, yeah. Cool.”
Sara says “Okay, have a good night.”
Robert says “Yeah, goodbye” and closes his cell phone. He goes to Borders. The latest New Pornographers’ record, Challengers is playing. He wants to ask one of the girls that work there whether they have to play that record or they chose to. He isn’t sure if “have to” reinforces the fact that they’re at work and might be a turnoff. He isn’t sure what to do. As he goes down the escalator he decides to say something to one of the girls who works there but then a Mexican man gets on the escalator behind him and he can’t anymore. Outside he feels tired and doesn’t want to walk all the way home. He goes to a grocery store and looks for a small bag of organic corn chips for one dollar and eighty nine cents or less but only sees large bags of organic corn chips for three dollars and sixty nine cents. He goes in another one and sees small bags of organic pretzels for one dollar and ninety nine cents. He doesn’t get them. He goes to WholeFoods and looks around. He sees small bags of organic vegetable chips for seventy nine cents. He buys a five pound bag of organic russet potatoes. He walks down the street that the bus to his house goes down but it doesn’t come until he’s more than halfway home. He makes a left turn. He is going to his friends’ house. He sees one of his friends riding his bike and yells his friend’s name and his friend stops his bike and comes over to Robert. Robert says “Hey Brian.”
Brian says, “Oh, hey Robert, what’s up man?”
Robert says “I don’t know. What are you doing?”
Brian says “Just going to the beer store.”
Robert says “Oh yeah; you’re drinking beer tonight?”
Brian smiles faintly and says “I drink beer every night, so yeah.”
Robert says “I was just going to head over to your house and see if you guys were drinking beer.”
Brian says “I could uh pick something up for you, though I’m already picking up… well, yeah I guess I probably could.”
Robert says “That would be awesome” and takes out a five dollar bill from his pocket. “Could you get me a forty of O.E.?”
Brian says “Sure, yeah. Alright I’ll see you over there then.”
Robert says “Thanks, see ya.” Robert walks to Brian’s house and pushes the door open. Inside he sees other people he knows. They are surprised and happy to see him. Robert makes French fries and everyone eats and appreciates them. Brian comes back and they didn’t have any forties of Olde English malt liquor so he got Robert two twenty-four ounce cans. Robert looks at them and feels happy. He puts one in the fridge and opens the other. He drinks it and feels good and safe. Robert smokes cigarettes and talks about everything. Later Robert and Brian ride bikes to the pretzel factory and the beer store and then come home and everyone is upstairs in Alison’s room. Robert is drinking his second twenty four ounce can of Olde English malt liquor. He feels as though he will fall asleep any time. He makes goofy faces at Alison and she makes goofy faces back, sometimes. He realizes that he has no idea how she feels about him. He wants to sleep next to her and is afraid that he will fall asleep before he can try. Later he wakes up on Alison’s floor. There is mustard on his pants and a little mustard on his left shoe. He stands up and feels okay. It is 6:15 AM. He goes downstairs and washes his hands and face and then puts water on the mustard on his pants and rubs it. He goes to the front door and unlocks it and opens it and tries to lock it and then closes it. It isn’t locked. Robert looks at the door. He isn’t sure what to do. He starts to walk away. Alison opens the door and says “Oh, bye.”
Robert says “See ya later.” He feels as though he is wearing headphones, in that his conversation is inhibited by something. He walks home and feels happy. He isn’t very tired or sick. He sees morning people, some of them with small children. He reaches his house and feels very thirsty.
Inside, Jim says “Hey Rob. Just get back from partying?”
Robert says “I just woke up on Alison’s bedroom floor.”
Jim says, “Oh, you were over there?”
Robert says “Yeah.” Robert pours himself a glass of water and adds some lemon juice and drinks it. He feels better. He pours himself another glass of water and adds some lemon juice and drinks it. He tells Jim he’s going back to bed and walks to his bedroom, holding the empty glass. In his room he takes off all his clothes and gets in bed. He uses his MacBook remote control to put on The Ramones’ first album. He picks up the book Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. He reads the first twenty pages. He is slightly distracted by the choice of whether or not to go back to sleep. He goes on Facebook. He changes his status to “Robert is I just woke up and I’m not sure whether or not I should go back to sleep. PS: I’m hung over or something.” Robert goes to the bathroom and washes his face and hands. Robert goes to sleep.