Dawn

He wakes where he always wakes. He has slept in his clothes, and he smells like a fermented towel.

His mother looks in and shakes her head. He blinks at her and pushes off the sheet as she turns away. These gray socks are what’s wrong. Maybe if he could just…

Sleepy. Crazy. Not yet with the world.

The water from the tap is cold. Colder than makes sense, from up there in the tower, exposed to this same summer air, pipes under the lawns warming in the sun, up through the walls…

He leans forward and places a palm on the plaster. The plaster is cool. He wonders why it doesn’t sweat. He wonders whether there’s any coffee, whether his mother will complain as he drinks it, as if it would stunt his growth, as if he were a child.

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