Rise with the new sun. Sit at edge of bed, inhale and exhale seven times in slow succession. Lift arms, extend fingers until tendons are piano-wire tight. Rotate hands ninety degrees. Clench hands, listen to the soft cracking of ten aging knuckles.
Stand. Face wall. The painting by the bed shows a pleasing beach and ocean waves that extend into infinity. Who composed this scene? The painting is unsigned. The painting is old. The frame is coated with dust. Close eyes and imagine the muffled hush of the sea. Another seven inhalations, another seven exhalations. Rotate hands again. Open eyes, turn from wall, exit bedroom. At the doorway pause and blink rapidly. Shake away any lingering remnants of sleep.
To the right. The bathroom.
There are your teeth. Brush them.
At a large office building in the city center there works a young woman who would very much like to become intimate with a man she often sees while riding the elevator. Nice suit. Not overly expensive, but tasteful. Kind face. She can tell the man frequently smiles, and not in the way that so many people have --- a false way --- but genuinely. With sincerity.
With her heart she desires. With her mind she manufactures labyrinthine fantasies. What if he and I. What if.
Only once will she summon the courage to speak with the man of her passions and that is to ask the correct time.