The phone shrieks loudly throughout the room, piercing the early morning stillness with a vengeance. Cliff lifts his head slightly with half-opened eyes, grazing his hands blindly behind his head searching for the end-table next to the couch. The ringing abruptly stops.
A rooster screeches with his usual cadence and aplomb somewhere in the distance.
“Dammit,” Cliff exclaims to the ceiling, rubbing his eyes as a gorgeous ribbon of sunlight falls through the blinds, a golden beam warmly splitting his body in half. The phone once again rumbles through the room, this time Cliff’s right hand making no mistake in its trajectory.
“Yello,” Cliff mutters into the receiver, pulling apart the intertwined spiral cord.
“Hey, it’s Dalton. You up?”
“Uhhhh, yeah, of course,” Dalton stammers back.
“Great. Listen, yesterday was a disaster. Get your shit together, take the day off today and get your head on straight. Do something wild, put yourself out there. But first, come pick me up...I need a ride to set.”
“Aye, aye, captain, see you in a bit, gotta handle a few things around here quickly.”
Cliff shuffles toward the bathroom, scratching the back of his head, at this point likely more out of habit than actual affliction; the eternal itch. He looks hazily at himself in the mirror, eyes slightly bloodshot, hair somehow actually looking perfectly coifed all things considered. He takes a quick sniff of his left armpit to assess that situation, nods approvingly as he makes a few swipes of his Mitchum brand deodorant under each arm.
Cliff ponders a bit more on what Dalton said - no more mishaps - nodding in silence as he pulls on his trusty yellow tropical button-down over top his favorite Champion automotive shirt.
“Gotta take care of this damned TV antenna first,” he whispers approvingly as he walks toward the kitchen.
Cliff snags a beer from the fridge, grabs his keys and shades from the wall hook, and closes the door behind him with a light thud as he heads toward the shed.
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