It hurt and he didn't care. It muffled the sounds and he was disconnected from the world. He still didn't care. He sat there with it aching and the side of his throat raw. He didn't care. He threw back his flat.

Then opened the warm. The pizza box was on the floor and the tv blaring. It was a beautiful thing, flat and long and black. Plasma and high definition. Man, it was sweet. He watched it for every game, every fight scene, every moaning chick with a painted face and red nails.

He sat there in his boxers. He didn't go to the gym today after work. The light from the screen lit up his pecks. He needed to pick up some more protein bars tomorrow. He sat and watched. Some mindless talent show and he didn't care. His ear was starting to itch but he didn't scratch it. He opened up the second beer. Yeah, he would go to the gym and then the store after work tomorrow.

Maybe he would go out with Mike from work on Friday. He was always asking him, and talking about the hotties who worked at the bar he goes too. Why not? He didn't have anything else to do. He turned it back to basketball. Maybe he could get some this weekend. Women, especially the younger ones, liked a guy with charm and a smile. He would be polite, flex under his shirt, make sure he shaved. Yeah, thats what he would do.

He could almost hear her voice,"Have you cleaned your ears lately?" He sat there still staring at the screen. He could almost sense her there in the bedroom, brushing her hair. "You know how wax builds up in there babe. Do you need me to get the peroxide? You could take a shower first. The heat seems to help. I could take one with you if you like..." Then that little smile would come across her face. A promise of all the incredible things that would soon happen between them.  He closed his eyes and thought of her like that, with the brush in her hand. 

But it was soon replaced with her voice crying and yelling. His voice screaming back. And the slap...he didn't know where it had come from or why he even did it. Then the unpacking of the box with the tv. Him sleeping on the couch in front of it. Hearing her sniffling in the bedroom. And then the night when there was only silence. Walking back after coming in at 3 in the morning to find her gone. Her clothes, her keys, her hairbrush.

He missed the call from the ref. No, he wasn't going to clean out his damn ears. Let them stay blocked and sore. He didn't care. He didn't care. He finished his beer and tuned out the pain.