Coughing, Frank returned to his new apartment one morning to find Mickey had let himself in through the balcony. Frank didn't realize that he had picked this apartment precisely because it was easy for Mickey to break into. The air was wet with steamed rice and Buggles, Frank's occasional stray cat, yet another change, was nowhere. Mickey didn't explain and Frank didn't ask, it was a sign of how desperate their co-dependency had become that neither cared to ask for a pretext, they were together and that was enough, Frank's nose was bleeding from too much decongestant spray and his hot rice dinner (odd hours) was thoroughly pink by the time he had finished with it. Mickey had dropped the pot of rice on the floor shortly before Frank had returned but didn't mention it to Frank.
After dinner, they settled in front of the television and watched a movie on tape, baked fries completed the picture, Frank went to bed around noon and Mickey crashed on the couch. Before he closed his eyes, Frank looked around his bedroom, a bedroom Frank had never shared with anyone, not even certain hired visitors. Not even Mickey was allowed inside, So as he drifted through his afternoon coming attraction dreams he imagined how he would feel if the entire population of the Earth simply disappeared tomorrow and these walls were all he had left.
Where others might have seen only dinged furniture and clothes on a stolen metal rack, Frank saw a universe of unequalled possibility, if he could spend a thousand years in this room, he naively imagined he could...flibbertigibbets, the idea was gone.
Having lost the thread of it, he finally surrendered to his little death, on a pillow of his conscience, thumbing his nose at a ceiling dotted with phosphorescent paint. imagined it was sky. For all he knew or cared, one by one, outside his narrow window, the real stars could be going out. He'd never know.
It was always overcast in December. He made a mental note to put a lock on the balcony and give Mickey a key.