Christian Redon is avoiding the world. He’s been holed up in his apartment for days now, and by the look and smell of him, he hasn’t bothered to tend to himself much at all. Patches of beard twist and turn as he stuffs salt and vinegar chips into his mouth, and the thick black goggles over his eyes bounce as the muscles at his temples contract with the chewing.
The voice of a digital assistant comes from somewhere among the pile of raw electronics on his desk.
“Mother calling,” the too smooth voice intones. “Mother calling.”
Redon ignores it and continues to munch. The glove on his left hand, his salt and vinegar hand, is covered in dust from the chips; his right hand swipes at the air with purpose, that glove’s LED indicators flashing pinks and purples and punctuating his gesticulations.
He swallows a mush of potato and realizes that someone is banging on his door. Has been for a few minutes now. An impatient buzz sounds just as his digital assistant begins recording his mother’s voicemail.
“Chrissy, this is your mother. I’m leaving you a message…”
Knock knock buzz.
“Damnit, what!?” Christian barks. He leaves a trail of chip oil on his cheek as he swipes off his goggles. His eyes are bloodshot and raging.
“…need to be more involved with the family…” his mother says as he storms toward the door.
Knock knock buzz.
“What!” he demands as he swings open the door to find a messenger with her nose glued to her smartphone. She doesn’t react. She doesn’t seem to realize he’s answered the door until she reaches up to knock again.
“Oh,” she says vaguely when she sees him. Her nose crinkles. “Uh, I mean, I’ve been knocking for, like, ten.”
“… can’t you be more like your brother?” Christian’s mother asks him.
The reproach stings and this messenger’s dumbfounded appraisal amplifies it.
He snatches the overstuffed manila envelope from her hand. She’s already looking at her phone again, and he closes the door in her face.
“Oh, hey!” Her voice comes from the other side of the door. “I need you to sign!”
He ignores her.