Mary let go of sleep when the birds started singing outside her window. They woke her each morning. She crossed her legs at the knees. She pictured her body as the silver triangle swinging beside the kettle drums in the percussion section.
She lifted herself from bed. She peed. She blew her nose while she sat on the toilet. The tiles needed to be wiped. The mirror was dotted with the dry spray of toothpaste.
She made tea in a red mug. She timed the strainer. She dumped wet tea leaves into the trash can on top of the sandy coffee grounds. She showered. She packed a bag for the gym. She opened the heavy door of her car. The black driveway was spongy in the morning air. Puffs of steam lifted from the concrete like talcum powder squeezed from a soft container.
It took this long. She had been awake for over an hour. She put the key in the ignition. She remembered and all went numb. The tree leaves framed by the car window grew greener. Her legs grew looser. Her hands were switched with a stranger’s hands. Her hair did not stir at the roots. Everything was numb.