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routine

September 5, 2020

alarm sounding shuffling of sheets dragging them discarded barefoot to the bathroom sink flossing brushing then with the same spoon rinsed and overnight dried in a yellowed dish tray scoop up cheerios in clumps milk drops dripping one by one until a single o remains bobbing aimlessly

the drive to work by rote over tire streaked freeway overpasses and traffic lanes for carpools and timing the exit lane merge and racing a yellow light until tucking into the same parking lot cubby as yesterday the day before and before

car door clicks trunk swooshes open backpack fetched and footsteps tracing a well worn shortcut across the campus lawn avoiding a cyclist’s spinning and for a moment you look up because you always do this time of year when california sunshine burns through windswept fog

your desk untouched overnight the coffee mug and hydrating flask and computer power cord dangling and books you may someday read and family photos framed rest quietly staring back at you day after day until you box them up for another office and cubicle or left behind forgotten

good morning you say good morning they say day after day with smiles sometimes genuine sometimes forced sometimes masking unbearable sadness resentment boredom or intrigue until formalities finished you disappear into earbuds and shuffled playlists or silent pretend listening to discourage chatty cubemates

there’s a risk at lunch that you walk down the same aisle and select the same plate and linger but settle for the same entrée selection as yesterday and before and before sitting silent in your favorite corner nook peering out across the bay through window washer streaked panes

and leaving work you retrace each off-ramp lane change shortcut and eventually close your eyes and dreamlike in a podcast-fueled autopilot turn into your cul-de-sac garage door squeaking sliver of light peeking and a smile in the doorway welcoming you home

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lee Edlund permalink
    September 6, 2020 9:22 am

    I vaguely remember what that felt like!

  2. September 6, 2020 9:36 am

    This one made me a little melancholy for days gone by. And you perfectly captured the routine of morning breakfast and daily commute. I feel for many of us, we may never return to this. Thanks for sharing your talents James.

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