Josef woke up to dust and melancholy. Through the slatted blinds, sunlight shone in regimented lines, each illuminating seas of dead life. He sat up, sluggish and sulky, and when he looked in the mirror he saw that his eyes had melted and hardened overnight, like an unsupervised candle left to wilt. For a moment he was sad, for which reason he did not know, but he had awoken in a state of sadness and chose to sustain it. Perhaps he had dreamt an unhappy dream, perhaps his unconsciousness had pondered some buried, untouched emotion, could it be loneliness? It was not certain. Josef dug no further.
But Josef had been silly, he slapped himself a couple of times and rubbed his eyes. He had forgotten that he has control over his emotions, a sleepy daze occupied him briefly, deceived by his own delirium. And so now, he moved around the room more forcefully: the blinds were hoisted, the window opened, he sprayed the room with air freshener, a springly scent, daffodils on dewy grass, before leaving to work. He looked once more in the mirror as he left, his eyes promised vitality, albeit in a somewhat artificial way, as though they had been repainted, a glooping, watery honey now rather than the pale calcite of minutes ago. With this final glance toward himself, he departed with a new-found smile on his face – a smile that if were to be inspected further would show possible signs of feigning; the quivering dimple, as though held by strings from unsteady hands, and the slow, resistant transition back to stillness. The scent of daffodils followed him down the stairs, but waned as he opened the front door and stepped into the rain.
(prompts: daffodils photo, wistful, deceit)
by Marcus Bechelli