Dale The Lizard King

Dale woke up, once again disappointed to be just himself. A moment ago, he held a microphone above his head amongst a thrall of screaming fans. The next moment, a studio apartment with bare walls and dirty pants he would have to put back on for work awaited him. He ate another bowl of bran cereal, which comes in double bags, and used the last of the milk. The night before, he was exploring some hidden, dusty hangout with Vanessa and having the most intimate conversation he’d ever known. The next day, Larry, from litigation, needed an entire crate of files unstapled, then restapled—they were all in the wrong place, you see.

Sometimes, up late at night and unable to find something to watch, these characters would creep into his psyche. And alone, in his dark room, he felt the presence of the adventurer, the pirate, the singer, flowing into his veins. In those moments, he could almost reach through the membrane of his imagination and pull these people into the real world. If there was just a few hours, he would write down everything he needed. He could start over. He would be somebody new.

But the next morning, after he was awoken by a call that his credit card had been compromised, they were all gone. He tried to tap back into that energy, to see those people, to call them back. But there was only the cold, bright morning, the salty streets, the slush on the office foyer, and conversation about said cold over the Keurig machine. Today there was nobody new.