I scuffed my shoe on the pavement in the same spot I did every day. The curb leading up to the neighbor’s drive across the street was just one fraction of an inch higher than my perception realized – or could remember, for that matter.
The dog darted ahead of me, skirting left then right, back and forth across the sidewalk sniffing and pausing and watching, doubling back and scampering forward. She could not be contained by the leash that linked her to my hand, which was shoved casually in my pocket as we continued our strange parade through the neighborhood.
Every day was the same:
I awoke to the dull buzzing of the radio at the foot of my bed, set to turn on a full two hours after my actual alarm. I’d taken to turning the alarm off in my sleep. Since I had nowhere to go and no one to see in the mornings, I did not consider this an issue. Still, I never disabled the alarm.
My bleary eyes scrolled through the emails that had accumulated the night before, skimming some in a mockery of reading, deleting most. Nothing new today. Nothing ever new.
Coffee and an apple had become my routine breakfast, walking the dog my routine exercise, groggily checking email my connection to the outside world.
There was no challenge. There was no obstacle to overcome, no sense of purpose. There was only me, me and my shuffling feet that could not remember the height of the curb. My feet that longed for mountains.