Before School

Posted: February 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Fiction | No Comments »

The alarm in her phone is going off. She hits snooze immediately when she hears it then falls fast back into her dream. She stabs someone, really feeling it, thinking, it is too late, I have already stabbed him, she sees the slit, deep and unable to heal…yes it is too late. The alarm is back on and she is cleaving into reality. Snooze again…and again. Finally she gets up, begrudgingly. Mornings are the worst time for her…and sometimes the long walks home alone, or the moments when a commercial comes on but yet her eyes remain fixed on the television screen unfocused, feeling so blank and discontent. She pulls the covers off of her, waits a moment and with a deep sigh one foot is brought to the floor, cold, then the other. Standing on ankles that are still swollen with not enough rest, she walks to her pack of Shuangxi cigarettes on the desk, double happiness in English, briefly searches for a lighter, which isn’t hard to find since she has about a million laying around in various places about her apartment. She opens the pack, puts one in her dry morning breath mouth, flicks on the lighter, inhales deeply as the nicotine hits her lungs and bloodstream. The day has begun; she moves about her apartment wonderingly looking at the condition she lives in, the all too hard messy bed, the cheap little girl desk with oval mirror attached, the two closets, one with shelves for papers and the other for clothes, light yellow artificial wood in the bedroom, cherry brown coffee table in the living room, television on top of more cheap yellow wood, arm chairs colored dirty turquoise, clothes strewn about ever where, garbage from food eaten, random spills, yes this is her living space in China. She puts her cigarette out, takes a sip from yesterday’s bottle of tea to quench her thirst and get the disgusting taste of hell out of her mouth. She is now awake and semi-ready to face taking off her clothes turning on the hot water and waiting to see steam before she gets in. Her worst moments are behind her now: the time between waking to the alarm and turning on the hot water. Now she gets into the shower. Looking down, there are two black foot prints; her feet are always dirtier than she thinks. The hot water runs over her chestnut shoulder length hair, elongated with wetness, relieving momentarily her exhausted and sleep deprived body; all that exists for a moment is that moment. First the shampoo, what a fragrance, like washing away adulthood, going back home to her bath with bubbles and mermaid Barbie, conditioner for softness, then a pink bar of soap is applied, which reminds her of Zhuhai and her TEFL course, getting drunk but still excelling, tiredly, next Clean and Clear face wash, which is different than the American version in texture and smell. This variety is pink and kind of creamy yet grainy at the same time. Nonetheless, she is refreshed. She turns the water off, opens the door, grabs a bright yellow towel, dries off while she still stands on her bathroom floor, which is her shower floor, that is connected directly to her toilet floor; her toilet is a hole in the ground squatter. She steps out onto the 70s looking floor mat, dries her back and wraps her hair into the towel giving it a quick twist to keep it in place. Now time to get dressed, this can sometimes be fun and sometimes dreadful. Clothes on, bedroom door locked, keys in hand, cigarettes in bag, hair and teeth brushed deodorant on, a bit professionally dressed, she walks into her hallway, double locks both her doors, waits for and goes down the elevator and she is off.

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