Jonathan dreamt he was at the head of a large table in the middle of a great banquet. The guests at the table tapped their glasses in unison. At the adjacent end of the table an old man sat up from his chair. He pressed his hands palms down to quiet the crowd. He looked into Jonathan's eyes, opened his mouth but nothing came out. He embarrassingly looked from left to right at the crowd with an apologetic glance. The guests silently whispered to each other but Jonathan could not make out their words. Once again the old stranger opened his mouth, this time only a shrill singular note came from his throat. With each heartbeat the sound grew larger consuming everything in its path. The guest's skin started to crumble off with their clothes; their bones and their insides. The room went black. Only Jonathan and the stranger were left. The stranger now quiet handed Jonathan a plate of food. It was a white plate with no trim and a live fish in the center. Jonathan looked into the eyes of the fish; there were tears in them. Jonathan looked up to see it was only he and the fish alone in the room. The fish opened its mouth; again the noise came back. The fish started to decompose at an accelerated rate; maggots came from his skin and disintegrated the plate in Jonathan's hands; then there was nothing left but Jonathan. He was alone, empty handed in the infinite darkness.
Jonathan woke up to the monotonous drone of the color bars. He checked the clock on the VCR, it was 5am. He got up, took off his clothes and went into the bathroom. He turned the lights on and looked around. Everything was just as Sarah had left it, the candles, the CD player, everything but the bathtub was empty. Jonathan took off his clothes and sat in the tub. He traced the outline of where Sarah was last sitting. He rubbed her silhouette for hours until there was nothing left, he then held his legs to his chest for heat, and looked at the blackness of the drain until he fell into a dark dreamless sleep.
He woke freezing. His teeth sounded like a room full of typewriters. He turned on the tap to the tub and turned on the shower. The water, still cold by the time it reached him, freckled his back like tiny pin drops, slowly heating him. He wrapped his arms around his shins and pressed his face into his knees. As soon as the water was hot he relaxed his grip and stood up slowly. His bones ached from sleeping in the tub and he was sure he had bruised his tailbone. He wiped the fog off of the mirror and smiled into it. He looked like a jack o' lantern; a forced grin from a precarious knife blade. He dried himself off, put on his housecoat and checked what was on the TV.
As he left the bathroom his phone started to ring, he also noticed the answering machine had seventeen messages on it. He answered the phone.
"Hello." Jonathan said.
"Hello, Jonathan, this is Ken, Where have you been?" He said.
"I was in the bathtub, why?"
"Why? Why! You haven't been at work for four fucking days that's why."
"But I don't work until Monday."
"IT'S WEDNESDAY YOU GOD DAMN RETARD."
"OH, THAT'S ALL YOU CAN SAY IS OH. OH, I'VE BEEN IN THE BATHTUB. THAT'S ALL YOU CAN GIVE ME... FOR FOUR FUCKING DAYS."
"That is all I can give you Ken."
"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MONEY WE HAVE LOST BECAUSE OF YOU?"
"NO, THAT'S ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY?"
"I wasn't there, so that is all I can say."
"DO YOU HAVE ANY FUCKING REASON WHY I SHOULDN'T FIRE YOUR STUPID ASS RIGHT NOW?"
"No, not a good one."
"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, KING SHIT? YOU THINK YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT AND THERE WILL BE NO REPERCUSSIONS, YOU THINK I NEED YOU?"
"No not at all. Like I said, I fell asleep."
"YOU'VE TESTED ME FOR THE LAST TIME, YOU'RE FUCKING FIRED. DON'T BOTHER PICKING YOUR STUFF UP I'M GOING TO BURN IT ALL IN THE GARBAGE. IF YOU'RE LUCKY I'LL MAIL YOUR CHECK."
Ken hung up the phone. Jonathan pulled the phone away from himself; he counted the holes in the ear piece then the mouth piece. He then hung the phone up, bent down, unplugged it and threw it into the garbage can. He looked out his window, the sun was coming out. He thought it would be a good time to go for a walk.