He lay, flat on his back, in his white undershirt and plaid pajama bottoms, bare feet and a wet head resting on a thick, lumpy pillow.
Today had been exceptionally stressful and now it was time to relax. He was relaxing, to the point of nonchalance. Nestled on the worn coverlet his hands traced the familiar stitches up and down the diagonal pattern, while his eyes flicked back and forth from the street lamps' hazy orange stream to the blueish flashes coming from under his door that meant the neighbors were still watching television.
He blocked out most of the street noise, but decided to filter in the noises of the apartments only acception to the "no pets" rule, Bernie the Parakeet. Bernie shuffled his clawed feet back and forth endlessly in his shaded cage.
Slowly he closed his eyes and let numeric figures float before his minds eye. Unsolved and unresolved issues became impossible equations, and people no more than checks and dots on the scrap of paper that was his thought process.
A cry from Bernie jarred his focus and his eyes opened. He swung his feet over the side of the bed, got up and took the still squawking bird from its cage. He began to stroke Bernie's tidy sun yellow feathers with gently curled knuckles.
His eyes felt heavy and he obliged by letting them slide closed, only to let the numbers back in. Chirping and whistling, Bernie forced his eyes back open and drove the signs away with a, "Whatcha doin'?".
"Hush..." he whispered, more to himself than the bird...