She woke up sad. Inexplicably sad. Bright sunlight shone through both bedroom windows and she pulled the blankets over her head. She wanted to sleep, but she wasn’t tired. She heard her husband in the kitchen, banging and clanging. He must be in a good mood. It made her sadder. It’s Sunday. She should be happy.
Later, she decided to walk. The weather website said it was supposed to be warm, perhaps as high as 40 degrees with a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. She wanted to ride her bike, but that would take too much effort. She’d have to pump the tires, low from disuse. She might even have to sand off the rust. The wind was calling her. She put on a hoodie and kissed her husband. “I won’t be gone long.”
Where should she go? It was depressing. She missed San Francisco. Everything was in walking distance. She knew where everything was. If she didn’t want to go far, but still get a decent work-out, she could walk up the steep hill to Grace Cathedral. She could sit in the park and watch the dogs or read. Nothing was in walking distance in Chicago. The library was closed. The lake was still half-frozen and cold.
She walked to Sally’s Beauty Supply. The manager asked her if she needed help three different times. She liked to browse. She liked to look at every single hair color. She liked to read labels. No, she didn’t need help…was it because she was white? Most of the store carried things for ethnic hair. She finally chose a small conditioning packet for color-treated hair.
Outside, spring was loud: cracking ice and dripping water. Her feet got soaked because she couldn’t jump completely clear of the puddles. She didn’t mind. She could forget everything as long as she was outside. She forgot to be nervous. She forgot to be concerned. She forgot about her lists and piles and things to do.
She got home rather quickly despite her wandering feet. She breathed deeply through her nostrils, out of her mouth. She wanted to stay outside, but it was still too chilly to sit still. Her heaven would be an elaborate tree house, like the one in Swiss Family Robinson.
She weighed her options: hide in another book? She had just finished The Subtle Knife yesterday. Or maybe watch a movie? Boring. She was almost out of alcohol. Despite the many drinks that night before, she couldn’t get rid of this feeling. Why was she so fucking nervous?