White Noise – By Carly Jaeger

       You stare into the glow radiating from the TV. There are no other sources of light around you. Your protruding stomach spills from under your sweat stained wife-beater and hangs over the waistband of your old plaid green boxers. You can only hear the sound of crackling static as your vision is consumed by twitching black and white dots. One of the antennas on your TV is bent and broken, you no longer receive any stations. Your mouth hangs open slightly as your breath seeps through, rank and pungent, assaulting your nostrils with a bitter sting. You lick your yellowed, rotting teeth and suck on your tongue, not having brushed your teeth in days, maybe even weeks—even you don’t know. A fat fly lands on the rotting sandwich beside you. The sandwich had fallen from your hand and onto the itchy cloth couch long ago, the crusting mustard staining the fabric. A spilled beer soaks into the cushions. Having gone uncleaned, the sticky alcohol now releases an aroma of sour yeast that fills the room. Your legs are spread wide and your back and shoulders lean all the way back to slouch on the sofa. The fly leaves the sandwich and flies to you, circling your head before landing on the edge of your receding hairline. You make no effort to shake it away. The fly explores your greasy hairs as the loose skin around your eyes sags down your face. Both your hands are splayed outward at your sides. The left is holding a filthy TV remote, scabbed over with stale crumbs wedged between the buttons. The other hand falls by your side without a purpose and your fingers fall limp, curling inwards towards your sweaty palms. The fly leaves your head, buzzing by your ear, but the hum only blends with the white noise spewing from the TV speakers. You make your first movement in hours. Using your thumb, you slowly press the power button at the top of the remote. The TV snaps off. Still, a colored haze remains on the screen, casting a green halo across the room. The light reflects in the whites of your eyes with a zombie-like glow before your neck falls slack, your chin meets your chest, and your eyes permanently shut.

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