The alarm calls out again, pleading with you, begging you to leave bed; a stubborn siren barely audible over the brewing storm in your head. Why did you even bother setting an alarm; it's not like anyone wants to spend time with you. Nobody wants to hear the insecure whining of a hopeless loser. The vicious record repeats different versions of the same song. Idiot. You can't even remember why you set an alarm.
You try to focus. Frustration gets comfortable, and you pull the sheets over your head letting tears leave tracks down your cheeks. The trails left behind are just another reason to remain in bed. People already think you're fucked up enough; do you really need to give them another reason to stay away from you. Such a schemer, the recording, it encourages your self-image. Repeating its message over and over, telling you that it 's normal to think like this. Assuring you that you do know something by providing you with the insurmountable proof that smothers any hope the light of day may try to impart. Not that it really matters now. You haven't seen the light for months.
Dishes are full of food and clutter the surrounding space. Evidence of wasted attempts to feed yourself, now symbols of another failure. Their putrid smell contributes to the musty odor coating the apartment, while the fruit flies keep the peace hovering only where food languishes. You don't bother cooking anymore. Except for the rare occasion when someone comes around, bringing a meal and the expectation that you'll eat it with them, you don't really bother with food at all. Sometimes you'll unwrap a found candy, popping it into your mouth with the hope of tasting a memory from when people could safely enter your private world. But now the sugary sweetness tastes rancid, and you're left feeling swindled out of your saccharine memory. Everything else lost its flavor long ago. Just dry and flavorless bits of nourishment that only help you endure this hell longer.
You withdraw into the world under your covers for over an hour before the knocking starts. At first, you consider it may be the landlord demanding the overdue rent, which causes your chest to contract as your body shrivels like the withered wrinkles on the fading fruit littering your floor. The right side of your body aches and your swollen joints pulse with the anxious tension crashing through you each time a fist hits the door.
It wasn't that you didn't have the money. It's been in the apartment for weeks, but come rent day, the task of getting dressed felt like too much of a burden and you worried about the dizziness that came over you so quickly now. Not to mention how the mirror had recently turned against you and was now swift to prove the truth behind its harsh opinions. So much was working against you to complete a simple chore, you were skeptical about your ability to deal with life outside the doorway. Instead, the safety of your scratchy blanket and an old record, as reassuring now as they were then, let you linger until it was too late to knock on the landlord's door. Afterwards, shame escalated until it had captured self-doubt; keeping it nearby to remember how pathetic and incapable you are.
The sweet caress of your record keeps you from walking the ten steps to the door even after you hear the shouting start to come through. Getting louder, the record drowns out the sound of the door being forced open and clutches you close as your eyes close and you let the melancholic storm clouds from your head spin around on the black scene that plays whenever your eyelids are closed. You feel like sleeping again, despite barely being up long enough to hear two episodes of Wheel of Fortune escape from the television speakers. Vanna White kept her smile after spending years proving people right. Everyone else is able to keep going, but not you. Something is wrong with you.
As the police invade your room, Vanna smiles and turns her back on you to show the brilliant contestants their letter choices are correct. As the last letter lights up, your light goes out for good.