My head was throbbing and I was slumped over in a bathroom stall, pants up. A lump on the back of my head told me I’d slammed it on the wall behind me. It’s not easy, never knowing when you’ll just blink out of consciousness or for how long, but you learn to live with it. You learn to adjust.
Standing up made me dizzy, but I figured a little water would help. The sink was one of those slap it on the head and pray you can get your hand under in time kinds. Marvelous. I hate the inconvenience of getting wet at a sink.
As I left the bathroom I found myself in what appeared to be a trendy dance club. It was busy as hell, full of drunken twenty-somethings dry-humping to some techno beat. From across the floor I locked eyes with the penguin.
He was sitting at a shoddy little table in a corner of the club, poking at an empty glass with his wing when he saw me. With an awkward hop he dropped to the floor. He was shorter than the table. For a brief moment I wondered how he’d gotten into the seat in the first place, though I suppose there are better questions some would have been asking. He came to me with that penguin waddle, and looking up at me his mouth moved. He was trying to talk to me.
“Come again,” I asked, “music’s a little loud.”
“I asked ‘What the hell took you so long?’”
What the hell took me so long, what a smartass that penguin was. “What do you think, Kevin? I’m narcoleptic. I fell asleep.”
“Again? You should cut that out. Bad thing sleeping on the job. Downright irresponsible.” Continue reading