Every morning if an alternate reality of the one before. The same room, same bed, same pillows, same alarm, same wife. My feet hit hard carpet, ice woven into its seventies threads. Clothes are pulled off door handles and radiators. I yawn as I lock the door and I don’t wake up until my feet feel the crunch of pebbles. I think I take the same route every day. I probably see the same people every day; on a loop depending on how slowly my muscles respond to the stairs and to the cobbles. I hear myself walk towards the crashing tide. I feel the wind, the salt, the fresh, crisp, biting air prick my bare skin. And finally the smile on my face extends. My eyes crinkle and I can feel my freckles fold in on themselves. The salted sea takes me into its arms. I am at one with the water, ducking, diving, swimming, splashing, paddling, laughing. Always laughing. I stay in as long as the blood in my fingers will let me – and then a little longer.

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