Monday, April 10th, 07:00 a.m.
Scrub the bathroom floor, Hailey might be up soon…
Those alabaster tiles that she picked out because “white is a tranquil colour” aren’t going to keep themselves shiny. That reminds me I have to pick up more tile cleaner when I go to the store later, we’re almost out. I pause several times in front of the mirror, vaguely staring at my reflection.
Gotta get back to scrubbing.
The smell of bleach reminds me of the nearby gym’s members-only pool. Hailey was a lifeguard on duty that day, the day we met. My mind always liked taking mid-day strolls but lately it got worse. I find myself in foreign countries, walking through floral paths whilst sitting at the kitchen table chewing plain toast for hours.
Monday, April 10th, 09:47 a.m.
I get up from the bathroom floor and my back is aching like the eroding cartilage of an 80 year-old’s knee. I pay little attention as there is still so much to do and Hailey might be up soon…
Monday, April 10th, 14:33 p.m.
Lunch was terrible. Note to self: never go to Paolo’s again. They burned my steak. Why do they always burn my steak? That reminds me of the time Hailey and I were walking downtown and a burning crisp of a pizza slice hit the floor at ludicrous velocity from the building above and onto the pavement in front of us. I’ll never forget her hysterical but adorable laughter that day. She laughed so much she got teary-eyed, one of her favourite feelings, she said.
Tuesday, April 11th, 07:00 a.m.
I leap out of bed and suddenly get the urge to make breakfast, Hailey might want some when she gets up, and that could be any moment now…
Why do we need so many special places for things? Spice drawer, sugar jar, brown sugar jar, cutlery drawer, napkin drawer, good napkin drawer, bread box. “Huh…” I pause. I quickly turn to the cabinet where Hailey keeps the plates for “special occassions”, like that time her father came to stay with us. I mutter some arithmetic and notice we’re one short of the full set. My eye catches a glimpse of the shattered answer, slyly trying to make its refuge under the fridge. I panic and rush over to pick it up before Hailey wakes up and sees that one of her special plates is broken. Into the nylon cemetery with the bacon I’ve burned to a crisp by this point because I was day-dreaming again. I hope the smell doesn’t bother her, she hates the smell of burnt food.
Tuesday, April 11th, 18:18 p.m.
I’m extremely aware of how my head feels on account of the new haircut. I can no longer fight the urge to scratch my head and now my hand is full of newly-trimmed hair. At the risk of looking like a complete lunatic in public, I clap frantically but it doesn’t seem to want to leave me. I conclude that this is an exercise in futility and that the hair trimmings aren’t going anywhere right now. Is Hailey even going to like my new haircut?
Thursday, April 13th, 16:09 p.m.
I run my index finger along the kitchen table and before I even look at it I can tell I’m going to need to clean. The circular, grey dirt on my finger only confirms my suspicion. Wouldn’t want Hailey to wake up to a dusty house, she’s had enough on her plate lately as it is. Plates. I hope when she wakes up she doesn’t notice one of her good plates is missing. I should go out and buy her a new one.
Saturday, April 15th, 10:14 a.m.
Had every intention of sleeping in today but the nearby church bells had other plans for me, it seems. At least it’s a joyous occassion that interrupted my sleep. I can’t bring myself to get up, however. Maybe I’ll stay in bed a while.
Sunday, April 16th, 08:12 a.m.
I’m standing in the middle of the living room, dressed in all-black on a rainy Sunday morning. Who are these people? Why are they in my house? Why are they all shaking my hand?
Conversation seems a little one-sided, too. Instead of “good morning” or “hello” some other, four-syllable word seems to have replaced today’s vernacular. Amongst the sea of strangers I recognize my mother’s figure, processing through the crowd and offering them food and snacks. She looks at me from a distance, as if she’s trying to hug me inside her mind. Why does she look sad? Come to think of it, everyone here looks kind of sad.
I have things to do around the house, wonder when everyone’ll be leaving.
Hailey might be up soon…
Copyright © 2016 by Miltiades Strouthos. Do not reproduce or use any contents by any means without prior written consent of Miltiades Strouthos. All rights reserved