It was not until the early morning hours that I was able to fall asleep, my hands and face still stinging although I had cleaned them the best I could. I slept fitfully for a couple of hours and then woke early Friday morning. My skin felt raw everywhere,(more) and I threw off the covers and undressed as much as modesty would allow. I was hungry, and thirsty; but couldn’t decide whether I wanted something hot or cold.
I stood in the middle of the room for a very long time, staring out the window at the sun on the trees until a thump on the door motivated me to move. I cracked open the door and pulled in The Daily Oregonian, then fell into another stupor. A cloud moved across the sky, and the world outside my window changed from yellow to grey, and back to yellow. A gentle breeze set the leaves to twitching, and a crow passed but did not land.
When I eventually looked at the front page, I learned that a body had been found in a field on the flanks of Mt. Hood. An investigation was being conducted. Foul play was suspected.
My alarm clock began to ring and the noise was so jarring to my soul that my whole body shuddered. The ringing set my jaw and tightened my neck. It was a sound that I could no longer bear, today or tomorrow or ever again. I turned it off and closed my eyes, trying to undo the damage it had inflicted.
I contemplated dressing. I contemplated work. I contemplated the marks on my hands and wondered if similar marks were on my face. It was all a puzzle that I did not feel like piecing together right now.