I descend the three flights of stairs, I open the door and tell bye to the smokers outside while I exit the office. The trip is short, so I walk as fast as possible to warm up. Before I arrive I light a cigarette, it’s usually half finished when I get there so I catch my breath by the entrance until it’s done.

Locker room. Get in equipment. First, massage. It feels good, but I’d like it harder. The masseur always chatting about things, almost always trying to get a feeling of how much money I make. The service is expensive and he (or she) is probably underpaid, hence the curiosity. I engage in the small chitchat, but I’m really not that into it.

After the massage comes the exercise part. The first couple of times I hated it, but now I like it. I feel better and it’s worth it. I learned what I have to do fast so now they stare at their phones, minding me very rarely. I like it like that, so I try to go the full course as best I can.

Back in the locker room. New T-shirt and some deodorant. I light another cigarette as I leave. Feeling good, but tired. What course should I take? A taxi or the bus? This time the bus. I wait 4 minutes and it arrives. I get in and take my seat. My mind goes places, constructing ideas and speeches I will probably never give. The music is annoying me, I have been playing the same 20 songs for months. I should probably change them.

I get home. She is on the couch, watching a show. I undress and take a shower. We engage in some sort of discussion for a couple of minutes and then it’s over. We have things to say to each other, but we don’t. After years and years of being happy it’s time for misery. We acknowledge it and move on. Maybe we will be happy again, maybe we will never know happiness together – one way or the other, we were the most important people to one another and now we are not. Not replaced, just effaced. Life took a deep turn and we did’t have a chance to get back on track yet. Will we be able to?

I make a small gesture, just a hint of trying to correct the balance. I get dismissed and I feel like I went two steps back rather than one ahead. I give up and go to the other room. I take my kindle and I read for a little bit. When it’s time she comes by my side and falls asleep. No more words tonight. I wait until she alls asleep. She has nightmares at first, but then the exhaustion makes her sleep peacefully. I get up and go to the kitchen. I make some lavender tea and I have a cigarette while it’s infusing. With the mug in my hand I go back to the bedroom. I watch her while I drink my tea. I’m sleepy now, so I lay on my side and try to go to sleep. I feels like I’m crashing, it feels like I’m having the same nightmares as her, only I’m aware of them. Maybe she is too, but dismisses them. I am bad at dismissal, still trying to learn the basics and not jump in overthinking again. I fall asleep with a single thought in my mind: tomorrow is another day and I can try again, maybe I will get better at it. I have to.

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