That Was Your Life

Why the fuck are you doing this? You splash your face with the cool water halfway filling the sink, letting the droplets run down your weary face. You stand there for a while, your hands gripping the sides of the porcelain bowl, staring at your reflection in the water’s surface. You’ve been standing there for quite a while. Just standing. Standing and staring. Staring and standing. Don’t you have better things to do? Shouldn’t you be getting your work done, or going out to meet that woman, Mrs. Right-but-oh-so-wrong? Isn’t there anything else you’re going to do apart from standing at that sink, wasting your goddamn time staring at the water? But you already know the answer. You know you’d rather stand there, stay in that moment, be enraptured in your own purgatorial state rather than thrust yourself out into the world. You want time to stand still, to be lost in the moment now, to fall into your reflection on the surface of the water, rippling out of focus when the droplets strike it. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Why did you even get out of bed today? You wipe your face at this time, allowing for the water to crash down all at once, the thoughts of what-could-be and what-should-be escaping you now and perhaps forever lost. You stare at your face in the mirror in front of the sink. What a mess. Your eyes are baggy, your cheeks drooping, your hair a tangled mess that could be mistaken for the rainforest of a Tarzan novel. Before you do anything else, you breathe deeply, letting the cool rush of life-giving oxygen fill your lungs and feed your blood. You exhale, feeling a wave of relief crash over the pressure inside you. You extend out your hand, steadying your metacarpals, and give yourself a hearty slap across the face. It stings, the residual water on your face creating another layer for pain to spread over. Fuck, that wasn’t very smart, was it?

What are you going to do about it? You already know that all you can hope for is not the best, but something less than the worst. You’ve known this for far too long. No family. No friends. No love. No life. But what do you say every morning? When you crawl out of bed and skulk towards that sink every goddamned morning, what is it that you say, regardless of whether or not you want to, whether or not you feel like it?

“Today’s the day.”