The next morning she woke up on the couch, scrunched up in a ball for warmth. The cat had managed to cocoon itself in the afghan and return to its exact location without waking her.
She lurched off the couch half-heartedly. Lumbering into the kitchen was easier than the bathroom, so she made coffee first. She filled the chamber with coffee beans, then the next chamber with milk and then the final chamber with water. All involved trips to the opposite sides of the room. It didn’t seem to be any more convenient than the old coffee maker, or, for that matter, forgetting the whole mess and buying coffee from the store.
“It was easy to be dressed and gone before she woke up,” Joan thought. Based on the timing of her text messages, the day begins when the hour has double-digits. That would never work for Joan, though. The earlier the better. She liked to leave when there was still fog and the sun would cut through in certain places during her drive. She never understood why people said that the sun burned off the morning fog. It didn’t feel like burning. Burning was slow. Burning left ash. The sun obliterated the fog. Nothing was left.
The fog had stayed late into the afternoon the day she first met her. Met her. That isn’t the best way to describe what happened. Joan hadn’t ever decided what the best word was. “Discovered” connoted too much intent. It gave her too much credit. But “met” made it all seem mundane. People meet at a party or over lunch. She hadn’t met her.
The drive this morning left plenty of time to think about that day. The roads were empty, as they often were this early, but so many of the bridges were up that it took forever to get to the city. In the fog, she couldn’t see what types of boats were crossing. There were just patches of red and blue metallic paint that floated through her line of vision. She sipped her coffee thoughtlessly as she waited for the chain of color to end and the metal arm to push through the haze, its flashing lights hitting the airborne water molecules and revealing their movement. The air was always moving, even if she wasn’t.
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