He woke up with an angry head and sore body.

Everyone had left, but he was still   floating. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and took in the room. It was

gray all over. Not just painted gray, but also, everything was painted gray. His face, which he had just unstuck from the bar, was the only thing with any color in the room.

Why had he worn gray last night?

The bartender must have left him there overnight to thaw out. He couldn't remember if he'd come alone, or if he'd intended to leave alone.

His gray suit felt loose, like he'd shrank overnight.

He felt a phantom vibration in his phoneless pocket, and instinctively

reached in.

His phone was already on the bar.


he asked, but the phone kept ringing.


he asked again, but the screen refused to yield to his sliding finger. Just passionless, mechanical ringing.

The phone finally stopped.

He stared at it for a lingering moment, then got up to pour himself a drink