Drew was sitting at a restaurant booth across from someone – someone he couldn’t quite remember.
Their expression was unreadable to him, their face a splotchy fog. They were dressed up very nice, very fancy, in a vest and… some sort of blouse, or something, the words weren’t coming to him.
He realized that he was feeling self-conscious and guilty, because he was just in his work shirt with the grease stain above the pocket. So that did narrow things down a bit, because this was someone who would actually care how he was dressed. That meant this person wasn’t… oh Jesus, he couldn’t even remember the name of the person that they weren’t.
His tongue dragged against his chapped lips, but it didn’t help much. There was a glass of ice water in front of him, and he drank from it, spilling a little on himself and brushing it off with his hand. They seemed to be intently watching the movement of his hand, but did not react to his faux pas.
He wasn’t aware of the ringing in his ears until it was starting to fade. “What would you like to order?” the server he hadn’t noticed was asking him.
“Um.” His other hand had been gripping a menu. He struggled to read it, but all the options were melting together on the page into one homogeneous brown mass. “The…”
His date (were they dating?) answered for him: “He’ll have the onion rings.”
Drew stared across the table at them, his eyes bulging out of his head. An emotion was bubbling up to the surface of his conscious mind, like methane in a swamp. It was anger. All of that fury and rage seemed to concentrate in his mind, it was rising, pressing against the top of his head.
He dropped the menu (the server took it away) and he reached with that hand to rub the ache on his head. But his fingers slipped effortlessly into his skull, like his brainpan never had a lid in the first place. He slid his arm all the way up to the elbow, and began to slowly, agonizingly pull himself inside-out.