"the hardest part is always the title," jim quipped and dropped a half-smoked cigarette from his nicotine-stained fingers. he watched it fall for almost too long, as though hoping an infernal blaze would be the consequent result of his careless act. the glowing orange-red-amber tip spun end over end, and the butt hit the floor with cosmic force, scattering hot embers and cold ash like the debris of exploded stars across a galaxy.
he was tired from sleeping only four hours in the last few days, while working to meet another ridiculous deadline for another ridiculous client. "fuckers," he though aloud; "the lot of them." his normal, if they can be called normal, sleeping habits weren't much different from those he'd had when under the stress of a deadline, but he felt nostalgic for un-deadline sleep now.
he removed his gaze from the floor and scanned the room. it was well lighted, clean, small. furniture was sparse: his working desk and chair in the corner by the only window; a leather recliner in the opposite corner; the couch sprawled across the back wall; a set of bookshelves, stuffed with books and loose papers, opposite the couch.
seeing now her figure, he remembered that jamie had been sitting on the couch. she sat with one leg dangled over the arm, the other tucked so awkwardly under her ass, jim thought, that she must be comfortable or in the throws of some depraved fettishist act. he thought fleetingly what it would be like to have her. then the deadline swarmed over him: he slouched. "shit."
he reached at the floor and grabbed the filtered end of the still-burning butt. he lifted it furiously to his lips. he breathed in deeply and closed his eyes. he felt every chemical-filled fiber of the smoke coursing through his body. the skin on his arms and neck raised. he held in the smoke until it choked off the last bits of air in his lungs; he pursed his lips and spit the smoke into the air. jamie winced. "why do you still smoke," she stated rather than asked. clinging to the warm tingling sensation in his body, he closed his eyes tighter and chose to not acknowledge her.
he walked back to the desk, sat again, and pushed the cigarette carefully into the corner of his mouth. the swirling smoke stung his eyes. he pulled his chair closer to the desk and leaned forward toward the black antiqued smith-corona typewriter (how pretentious) that sat, waiting anxiously for the calloused massaging of jim's fingers on its keys. he reeled a leaf of paper forward and returned the carriage. he tapped a few of the keys, trying to string the letters and words together in his head before hammering them onto the page. he noted the empty bottle of white out now tipped on its side and rolling back and forth on the desk like a fish out of water gasping for air, wanting to be filled again with the goopy white heaven that lay in a cracked, dried pool underneath it.
jim pulled his hands into fists and smashed them against the keys. jamie flinched, but said nothing. "she laughs at this, my impotence," jim thought. "it's only a title," he thought. He raced through the card catalogue of words in his head. "all i need is a title. a title. give me the fucking title!"