First the alarm rings in its noisy and ephemeral way. Then there’s relaxing in a bed still warm from the night’s sleep, and also stretching. Stretching is good. Outside the morning birds are a wild orchestra, singing from the trees and bushes and telephone poles.

The coffee smells strong and pungent and the cup is gently warm. Breakfast is oats, boiled with raisins and cinnamon. The raisins swell; they’re a juicy, sweet contrast to the oats’s bland stolidness.

The morning jog is quick because work is calling. The air is fresh and the park empty — why do runners not seem to enjoy the morning flowers and the smell of dew on the grass? The jog is invigorating, and the hot shower that follows more refreshing than the coffee was.

But that isn’t how things are. The alarm rings and you — through force of will — climb out of bed (where the warmth no longer holds any attraction). The coffee is just coffee. It tastes bitter but you drink it because it’s familiar and habitual. You have no energy to exercise, and truly you never had the time. What’d you been thinking: it makes the morning a mad rush to eat and wash and dress. Enough with it. But it’s already been a few days since you’ve stopped exercising and it’s not something you think about any more. Now the only thing left is to wonder if she’s woken up yet. If she misses you. And you know this:

She is waking, and she might be thinking of you, but she doesn’t miss you.