Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

The tank had finally ran out of helium, according to the man. Sid is relieved; however, he also now has a high voice once again from breathing the helium emanating from the neighbor’s apartment, and begins feeling somewhat dizzy due to the rather high concentration still in the air. He excuses himself and walks swiftly back to his room, shuts the door, and sticks his head out the window once more. He feels relieved as the rush of fresh air fills his lungs and his brain starts receiving much needed oxygen.

Just to keep his room from filling with more helium, he stuffs the crack between the door and the floor with a shirt that he recently purchased at a thrift store with part of the insurance money for his lost possessions. He also stuffs rags into the air vents, and leaves the window open to circulate fresh air into the small apartment.

He now takes the time to look around his abode. He concludes that it is indeed a one bedroom apartment, with a rather compact bathroom and a kitchen attached to the side of the front room. A closet, or bedroom, is also attached on the wall opposite the kitchen through a regular sized door. His new apartment resembles a studio, but with more closet space, and a bed in one closet. It is not too bad, and is actually somewhat of a step up from his old apartment, even before it burned to the ground. For one, the apartment is not infested with insects and various small rodents which consume food more than Sid does.

A small television sits upon a milk crate on the floor near the wall with the front door. Since nothing good is ever on the tube, Sid decides to flip around to see if there is anything good on. However, he is slightly disappointed when all that he finds on are reruns of a rather boring sitcom, and repetitious news casts.

He turns the television off with disgust and goes into his closet of a bedroom. At least he can lie down in there on the bed fully and not have his feet pressing against the opposite wall to the wall his head is pressed against. He can also stand upright inside of his bedroom. Unfortunately, any other activity requiring movement will not be able to happen in that room, such as jumping on the bed, or building a pillow fort. Sid glances at the clock on the wall, and decides that he might as well sleep since he cannot think of anything better to do with his time. He lies back down upon the bed, and is soon fast asleep, despite the strange noises that the pipes often make, and the clanging noises that the air ducts occasionally make.