A Possible Path

Water Drowning UnsplashOlivia Script

I have decided to go out today.

The sun is creeping through the gap between the curtains in my bedroom, carving a bright line across the comforter on the bed. I have been watching it move slowly from the foot of the bed up to the center, and I have told myself that when the light reaches my face, I’ll get up, shower and force myself to go outside.

Christopher called my phone yesterday, but I didn’t answer. I haven’t listened to the voicemail. I delete his texts to me, unread.

I want to go to the beach today. I am not sure if I am hoping Arthur will be there or not. I don’t know if wanting to see him is a good thing or not. No, it’s not that I want to see him. It’s that I think I need to see him.

The key and the coin are still on my bedside table.

I have to get my shit together.

My phone buzzes again, and I lift it, fearing it will be another message from Christopher. Instead, it’s a photo from Tina: a layer of fog mostly obscuring a collapsed and abandoned seaside shack, an old washing machine in the yard, Boone in the corner of the frame. Spontaneously, I use the camera on my phone to take a snap of the beam of sunlight climbing up my bed, and I send it to Tina, my first interaction with another person in days. Baby steps.

I don’t want to get out of bed.

The sunlight is on my chest.

I reach over and pick up the Japanese coin. It is, as it always is, cold to the touch. I imagine I can see a fine layer of frost coating it, and then I realize with shock that it’s not an illusion. The coin is frozen, and tiny flecks of white are barely visible pressed up against the edges of the kanji characters embossed on the metal. It is almost painful to hold it in my hand, but I don’t put it down, because I can see that the frost is also on the edges of the coin, filling in and defining what had appeared to be scuffs there. Now however, I can see that these are not defects in the metal, not a result of normal wear, but are in fact tiny, ill-defined letters scratched along the outside edge. I pinch the coin between my finger and thumb and hold it up close to my eye, trying to read the minuscule frosted writing there.

It’s an address: 601 Quince Street. As I am looking at it, the heat from my fingers is already warming the metal, and the frost fades and the letters vanish. Quickly, before I can forget the street number, I grab my phone and enter the address into Google maps, getting a hit in San Mateo, thirty minutes south from my apartment.

This is something.

The sunlight hasn’t reach my face yet, but I am out of bed and going for the shower.

This is something.

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