The light signals me to walk. I stand. My cigarette has a few drags left, and if I cross now I’ll have to dispose of it. The last wastebasket on my way to the laundromat is on that other side. I don’t want to stand next to it and wait.
My hair is growing again. I wonder if I’ll let it be this time or, in some near future, stand in the bathtub, razor in hand, slowly dragging it across my wounded skull. My black shirt’s shoulders are covered in what looks like dandruff, but is actually evidence of my unhealing eczema.
I decide to wait in a café for my laundry to finish. They know what I want and rarely ask anymore. I’m predictable, once I’ve found what I like.
I think the waiter likes me. She greets me on the street when she walks to the second-hand store. I like her deranged blue hair, always covered by a cap, and the way she smiles briefly at return customers, a kind of unspoken understanding that the last visit was a success. The coffee is nice too, but they close too early. Today it will do, the laundry only takes an hour or so.
“Last night I dreamt of climbing stairs. They didn’t seem to end, and I was aging rapidly”, the text message reads. I stop briefly to think about the significance of that dream, but there are too many possibilities. The coffee reminds me that I haven’t eaten yet. My stomach is unhappy with my consumption of strong, chilled black liquid. I ignore its legitimate concern and get back to reading, wondering what kind of day this hot, sticky mess will turn out to be.