Sunlight and acrid vehicular fumes assailed my senses, dazzling me, and churning my stomach, as, vacillating slightly, I stepped out into the unforgiving day. Hostile glances from passers-by confirmed that my bedraggled appearance was not going unnoticed, and I was sure I looked as bad as I felt; which is saying a lot. My mind drifted for a time, and as my consciousness returned, it occurred to me that I had been circumambulating for an indeterminable period. Thick, pungent odours wafted out from a nearby curry-house, and whatever foul concoction had passed my lips the night before now threatened to do so again. I retreated down a side-alley; a sanctuary from the stares, the glare, and the blare of the street. My thoughts came in circuitous jumbles, each more tangled and hazy than the last. I urgently, medically, needed SOMETHING, and the rasping of my tongue against my parched mouth indicated what that might be.
Disappointment. A tactile examination of my pockets revealed that the vendors I had passed would not be of willing assistance in this matter, as I lacked the necessary funds. This may have been just as well, since I also lacked any kind of identification that might confirm me to be human, and since the most expressive verbalisation I was presently capable of was a polite grunt, any attempt at purchasing a drink would most likely result in a hasty call to the R.S.P.C.A.
Euphoria. Salvation was an empyreal, celestial vision of a questionably-placed, and rather rusty faucet. As a wanderer in the desert collapses at an oasis, so I now fell to my knees at this veritably God-sent shrine. A creak and an agonising wait later, I was gorging myself on rust-flavoured ambrosia. even my importunate stomach was silenced for a time by this divine, heavenly elixer.
A pulchritudinous young woman stood, silhouetted against the entrance to the alleyway.
"Are you ok?" she asked reluctantly, poised to withdraw rapidly if this apparition turned violent.
Her appearance caused several different modalities to activate simultaneously, and in my addled state, the central executive charged with ordering them, under certain models of thought processing, was A.W.O.L. Some instinctive brain regions were registering alarm and recommending I take flight, while other equally primitive regions were suggesting that fornication would be an agreeable course of action. Many mental components could not offer a coherant course of action, but thought it prudent to chime in all the same, to add to the overall cognitive kaleidoscope. Before any of these could formulate a response, though, my vocal cords elected to act unilaterally.
"hhhgghhh?" I ventured.
The woman looked cautiously from side to side, before declaiming,
"Ok, then, you have a nice day!" and beating a hasty retreat.
A curious sensation crept over me, sweeping in a wave from my abdomen to the extremities and advising that I should conceal myself, or failing that, appear as small as conceivably possible.
Embarassment. Horray - my powers of deduction were beginning to return, but...oh; the emotion penetrated the higher regions of my cortex.