I woke up partially hung over from a decade worn frat anthem hung from an open basement apartment widow where the screen is kicked in and pissed on. I woke up to the blinking answering machine where for all eternity a message awaits, left from a payphone on Kansas long enough ago that a runner in polished shoes could make it, in regrets for saying the things left on the answering machine, all the way through downtown, up Los Angeles, up near the seminary to find an empty sublet, to piss on a window, to kick and scream about unrequited love. Climbing through the basement window as the sky became a light shade of blue, exhausted from running, I fell into a short sleep hanging just above the back-to-school bought apartment, dreaming this is alright. This is alright like what frat anthems tend to be. I woke up when a Bronco pulled into the driveway blasting LL or something.
When Candace opened her door to find me halfway through her window, I spoke as plain and even toned as I could muster. I was even able to pull a ring from my coat pocket and I pleaded with her to not listen to the machine. I asked to let the past be past. Candace left me there in the window. She left in the Bronco and I finally made it through the window, falling on leftover screws to the store bought products Candace builds. Stepping over wads of makeup crusted tissue and cigarette butts, I pulled the answering machine from the wall. The ring was on the television by the door. I looked at it thinking, the past is past. Maybe one day in the future we will cross paths and she will have the ring and vaguely remember this morning. Some days I plug the answering machine and watch the light blink.