Steve lay in bed staring at the pattern created by sunlight sifting through the sheets over his eyes. Little honeycombs of unfocused refraction bounced into his retinas. He wondered what caused these funny patterns; maybe it was the light beams themselves bending, or maybe it was his eyes bending around them.
Steve lay in bed staring at the ceiling. There was nothing particularly interesting on the ceiling, so he got bored quickly. He kept looking at the ceiling though because it was a little less difficult than thinking about light refractions, and besides he was bored with those too now.
Steve lay in bed staring at the window. It was made of glass rectangles the size of his head, stuck together with white wooden fixings. The painters had slopped paint from the fixings onto the panes, which daubed lightness on the view beyond the window.
Steve coughed gently.
Steve stared at his desk lamp. It was a good desk lamp that had served him well. He wasn’t sure if it were halogen or compact fluorescent, but he knew it produced light when it was dark, and that was pretty impressive in and of itself. Steve wondered how many hours that lamp had been turned on, and how many more it would be used before the bulb would die. He also wondered whether it actually produced light, or if it just sucked in darkness like a photonic vacuum cleaner.
Steve’s mouth was dry and his head felt numb.
Steve thought about taking a shower. He pictured the steamy water scalding his skin, opening the shower window to let fresh, frigid air in, and staring at the giant tree outside, with happy sun rays wafting in on his wet face. He rolled over and covered his back with the sheet. The sheet felt a little scummy, but he’d wash it tomorrow. Maybe.
Steve thought about his plans for the day. First he would eat something, he supposed. Maybe a frozen burrito or ramen cup. And then he would ride his bike somewhere, perhaps, like the post office, because he hadn’t checked his mailbox for a long while. And maybe he would see someone he knew and start chatting to them, and be invited to another party tonight. He thought he’d politely refuse, and then ride his bike back.
Steve reached down to his waist to see why it was sore and saw that he was still wearing the belt with the giant buckle his dad had bought him in Miami three years ago. The bull-horn shaped had been branded above his crotch because he’d been sleeping on his stomach.
Steve thought about getting out of bed, getting a glass of water, or seven, downing a couple Advil, taking a shower, getting some food, going outside, running some errands, maybe even starting a little work if he felt so inclined, and generally participating in vertically oriented activities. But all he did was think about them. He rolled over and closed his eyes.