My sleep disintegrates into a sore neck and a dark room. I lift my head from my desk with a groggy moan. The screen saver of my laptop stares at me— accusatory and bright. A notebook filled with indecipherable trains of thought and decorated with drool sits on the side. The details come to me like Polaroids on a string, haunted by meaning through their coexistence.
The sight of the bluing sky between window blinds clarifies that my all-nighter didn’t quite make it. The work lays unfinished for another day. My phone buzzes on a table across the room. Answer it.
Instead, I force my now-cold cup of coffee down my throat, too tired and caffeine-addicted to skip, and open the window over my desk. The winter-spring air of the morning haunts the stillness of my room like a specter. The blinds stir, the hair on my head and arms shifts, the pages turn.
There’s no more hopeful shift between seasons as winter and spring. Spring to summer is a slow squeeze. Summer to autumn is a relief. Autumn to winter is a death.
My phone buzzes on a table across the room. Answer it. I don’t.
I can already tell that I’m going to skip breakfast by the way that my body recoils from the word. I want to fill myself up on sunshine and bird song, rainwater and honey. My body doesn’t feel like it’s sitting in the chair, aching and exhausted. I feel like a memory, or a dream, or a ghost. I am gone.
There’s a breath of time where this is all I am: a room filled with fresh air and a sunrise. But this time when my phone buzzes on a table across the room, I answer it.
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