He awakens to a loud rapping at the door.
“Mr. Marr? Are you home?”
“Mr. Marr? Are you home?”
“Whoizit?” he groans groggily, rubbing the sleep and the alcohol from his eyes.
“Laura Andersen with Southern Living. Are you free to talk?”
It’s too early for this shit. What the hell does she want? Reluctantly, he drags himself out of bed and swings the door open. Before him stands a well-dressed, bespectacled reporter and her photographer.
“Sorry to bother you this morning, Mr. Marr. I’m with the magazine Southern Living and we’re doing a feature on this town and its residents. May I come in and ask you a few questions?”
Begrudgingly, he resigns himself to his fate and lets them enter. The reporter thanks him and begins surveying the apartment’s interior.
“Do you mind if we take pictures of your place?” she asks. “A person’s home is an extension of their personality.” Ms. Mathews always reminds us of that.
“Sure, I guess,” he mutters, grabbing a container of off-brand yogurt from the fridge and parking himself on a bar stool, hunched over.
“Excellent,” she exclaims. She begins asking Lucien questions: how long he’s been living in this small Southern town, what he does, who he knows.
He impulsively turns a silver coin over in his hand before responding. “I’ve been living here since college. I inherited this place and everything in it from my parents. I do odd jobs around town for money, but I don’t actually know anyone here that well.”
Furiously scribbling away in her notebook, she ambles around the room before plopping herself on the couch. Are there any cushions on this thing? She glances around the apartment again. It’s all...grey. Grey walls, grey furniture. Expensive, like that dusty crystal chandelier amidst it all...but grey. Yet nothing in here looks comfortable. Case in point, this couch. She’s wondering how to make this all sound good for the magazine when she’s suddenly jolted from her thoughts by a loud “Hey!”
“I didn’t say you could take pictures of me!”
“Sorry, sir, but Ms. Andersen wants candid photos of you for the magazine.”
“My apologies, Mr. Marr. It won’t happen again.” She gets up from the couch and glances over the photographer’s shoulder. It’s a nice shot of Lucien with a silver spoon of yogurt in his mouth. “That’ll work for the magazine.” She turns her attention back to him. “Could you elaborate more on how you got this apartment?”
“My parents,” he remarks, deadpan.
They’re obviously not very close, she thinks, running her finger through the thick layer of dust ringing an empty marble vase.
A loud buzzing breaks the silence. It’s Ms. Mathews, reminding the reporters they need to interview at least three residents or they’ll face severe consequences. Laura thanks Lucien for his time and leaves the apartment, hoping to catch a resident who hasn’t already been claimed.
As soon as she leaves, he locks the door and downs a glass of whiskey. It’s only 8:50, but so what? He flings the curtains shut (That damn photographer had to open them) and crawls back into bed, waiting for the day to end.