Another Day
Stewart Joyce

Wake up, wait to hear what's on the radio. First song is an old one from Dylan, followed by Skynyrd. Going to be a good one. Get up at the first commercial, start brewing coffee before starting the shower. Feel clean, get out and pop my eyes in. Pour myself a coffee with a towel wrapped around me, feel like God striding the Earth. Decide to wear the red shirt, looks good with my old jeans. Pack my bag, call Abe, feel good leaving the house.

Meet Abe at the bus stop, comes right on time, finish the sudoku I brought soon as we get to school. Sign of trouble, I forgot my mug at home, coffee costs an extra dime at the coffee shop. Abe's out of money, I buy him one, means I don't have enough for lunch today. Start looking for karma angles: am I ahead or behind? Forget it, karma takes time. See my future wife sitting at another table. Haven't seen her in a while. Think of introducing myself today. Con: she's sitting with a friend. Pro: Dylan would have introduced himself. Or maybe he wouldn't. Nah, she looks busy, I'll meet her tomorrow.

Time for class. It's raining, cold now, wondering if it's really a good day. See my friend Sarah, she smiles and waves, yeah, still a good day. Buddy in front of me ploughs through a puddle, silently chuckle and sidestep it. Start feeling good again. Think I'll skip dinner just for kicks. Christ, could go for a roast, though. Where can I get a roast?

Then class.

That's over with, too long, sucked the day away. Stopped raining, all misty. Bus takes a while, treated to scenes of people and streets emerging and disappearing, wondering what they're thinking, what their story is. Suddenly feel tired, might read, maybe watch some TV, go to bed early.

As I get off the bus, I feel a relief. The day is done, and I feel free of the burden of work and reckless energy. Looking up, I notice the fog, as a mist has settled on the city. I think of turning around, spending the night taking this in. I think of all the people I want to spend this time with, speaking in quiet murmurs and wrapped in comfortable silence, just as a subdued city is now wrapped in this peaceful fog. From the murmurs I imagine one voice is clear above all the rest, one I've never heard before. Her voice leads me to imagine her face and her eyes, her captivating eyes, and though I've never heard this voice before, I know I will one day meet it. Everything slows down, and as I walk home I focus on the sound of my shoes and the puddles they meet.

Get home, call Mom, mostly good news. Confirm that I'll be home next weekend, ask her to make a roast. Think of calling Dad, decide to do it during break tomorrow instead. Decide to make a sandwich and lose the rest of the night to TV, finally read the paper from this morning. Let the radio put me to sleep, a quiet Velvet Underground tune followed by a wistful Neil Young, just him and his guitar. I'll dream well tonight.

Published in Out/Words #3 (view contents)
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