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Examination

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My eyes lift heavy and brooding. I need more time, a few more ounces of sleep-induced oblivion. The black confusion: empty, mysterious: house of playful mirages, flashes of color, scenes bred of wishes and drama—wait for me! Slouchy warmth, snuggle-worthy blankets—oh, please let me stay!



“Obligation! Obligation!” rings my brain-clock. I sigh. Drag, slide: the bed has done me well. I stand blurry-eyed and staggering, dressed as an illusion as I blunder down the stairs. Breakfast awaits, still warm, but my stomach denies the invitation. Another sigh escapes me as I slip into the rigid and gloomy wooden chair. I have no choice; I eat.



Gliding ghost-like back upstairs, I retrieve a coarse towel, burdensome as I hoist it over my shoulder. I’m wide-eyed now: prepared to prepare. Passing my room, I grab my robe, lightweight, aged, and color-faded. My feet slink across cold tile lining as my eyes ignore the mirror, the toilet, the trash can; it’s all the same. I pull up the graying knob behind the curtains, and the water begins to drop: the same static sound. It’s dim outside. The trees are green but the sky betrays their attitude. I bend my hand toward the water—ah, yes: it’s hot now. I climb out of my pajamas, into the mesmerizing abyss of hugging heat and wetness. Once more, I sigh; the shower begins.



Clack, shake, squeeze. Rub, rub, massage—I have to make sure I have all my notes ready. They’ll be expecting something extravagant: sincere, but definitely constructive—scratch, rub, slide—I miss Brandi. I should call her to say good morning. That would make her smile—rinse, swish, slither. Shake, squeeze, splurt—there’s so much going on, so much to do…—lean, blink, breathe, stare…rinse, scrub, rinse, rinse. Sigh.



Floating, I snatch up the clothes lying around, good for another use. I throw them on; they roll about my body like acrobats using their legs to play with string. Back to the bathroom—I can never measure how much time I spend in there: no clocks or watches, just my mind flung upon the mirror as I graze myself with the image everyone is used to, finishing touch: a clip in my hair. After a few memory checks, I grasp everything I need for the day and head out the front door—Swoosh…!!!...



The air is sweet, tinged with autumn moans and lighthearted wind. The sun plays in the trees, flickering, peeking out with sparkles as bits of my hair catch fire. Birds bounce in the clouds, singing staccato ballads to the lush greenery as a squirrel twitches, bops around the foliage.



A deep breath. A sigh.



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