<<set $memories =$memories +1>>When I was younger I liked to stand before the mirror for a moment each morning and assess the pimples and later the wrinkles that slowly transformed my skin. Now the mirror is always hazy and I don't spare it a glance anymore, knowingthat my body has stabilized, sagged into a new comfort with the forces of gravity, and there's nothing to change or push into place or worry about anymore.\n\nI turn back to the [[list|big list]].
I turn around and face the door. The name reads "Kathy Goldsmith." <<if $memories gte 6>>I know that name. My name, but not my house.<<else>>I don't recognize it. Where am I?<<endif>>\n\nI [[turn]] <<cyclinglink$direction "right" "left">>.
<<if $didrecall eq "shirt that my daughter gave me">><<set$memories = $memories + 1>>She brought it the last time she visited--no, the last time she came home from school. She said it matched my eyes.<<endif>> <<display "daughter">>\n\nI feel a stirring in my stomach. I'm probably <<cyclinglink "hungry" "sick" "dying">>. I should eat something. \n\nThe kitchen is a fridge that comes up to my waist and a one-pot stove. The pot is encrusted with the remains of some cooking project. <<if$memories lte 4>>That was probably Steve making a late night snack and forgetting to clean. I should let him sleep.<<else>>Steve used to cook, but I never do. How did that pot get dirty?<<endif>> I look at the pot and the sink and the dismal contents of the fridge and decide to [[go out for breakfast|door]].
[[I am asleep|wake]]\n\n<<set $cyles = 1>>\n<<set$memories = 0>>\n<<set $pills = "no">> I turn left--no, right--and go out the only door with glass windows, and I'm in the yard. My tree isn't here. Where's my daughter? I remember...<<display "daughter">> \n\n<<if$memories lte 5>>Where's Steve?<<else>>If only Steve were here.<<endif>> But none of the faces look familiar and there's a [[man in a white collared shirt]] who looks too strong and too angry to be from my neighborhood.
I open the <<print $day>> tab. <<if$day eq "Monday" || $day eq "Tuesday" ||$day eq"Wednesday">>The pillbox is already empty. I must have taken them and forgotten. I am still so tired.<<endif>><<if $day eq "Thursday" ||$day eq "Friday" || $day eq "Saturday" ||$day eq "Sunday">><<set $pills = "yes">>I don't want to take them. My head is already swimming and my hands are shaky as I grab the glass of water. I pull the red and blue and pink and white mix of different sized pills and swallow them down.<<endif>> I turn to the [[shower]]. As I let the too-cold water beat down on my wrinkled skin I feel hands around my waist pulling me in, and for a moment I am warm and young and [[Steve]] is joking about people who wake up too early even when they are retired. Strong arms grab me around frail shoulders, an a voice murmurs in my ear, "Let's not upset the others." I've never heard this man before and I don't know what he means upset the others, most of the wrinkled shells around us seem content to stay parked on their benches, eyes fixed on the ground, not even looking. [[I could scream]] and they wouldn't care. @keyframes cyc-focus {\n 0% { text-shadow: 0em 0em 1em white; color: transparent; }\n 100% { text-shadow: 0em 0em 0em white; }\n}\n@-webkit-keyframes cyc-focus {\n 0% { text-shadow: 0em 0em 1em white; color: transparent; }\n 100% { text-shadow: 0em 0em 0em white; }\n}\n.cyclingLinkEnabled {\n color: inherit;\n opacity: 1;\n animation: cyc-focus 0.8s; -webkit-animation: cyc-focus 0.8s;\n position: relative;\n}\n.cyclingLinkInit, .cyclingLinkInit::before {\n animation-iteration-count: 0 !important;\n -webkit-animation-iteration-count: 0 !important;\n} I am asleep My Town\n Faces [[fade]] around me. version.extensions.cyclinglinkMacro={major:3,minor:3,revision:0};\nmacros.cyclinglink={handler:function(a,b,c){var rl="cyclingLink";\nfunction toggleText(w){w.classList.remove("cyclingLinkInit");\nw.classList.toggle(rl+"Enabled");w.classList.toggle(rl+"Disabled");\nw.style.display=((w.style.display=="none")?"inline":"none")}switch(c[c.length-1]){case"end":var end=true;\nc.pop();break;case"out":var out=true;c.pop();break}var v="";if(c.length&&c[0][0]=="$"){v=c[0].slice(1);\nc.shift()}var h=state.history[0].variables;if(out&&h[v]===""){return\n}var l=Wikifier.createInternalLink(a,null);l.className="internalLink cyclingLink";\nl.setAttribute("data-cycle",0);for(var i=0;i<c.length;i++){var on=(i==Math.max(c.indexOf(h[v]),0));\nvar d=insertElement(null,"span",null,"cyclingLinkInit cyclingLink"+((on)?"En":"Dis")+"abled");\nif(on){h[v]=c[i];l.setAttribute("data-cycle",i)}else{d.style.display="none"\n}insertText(d,c[i]);if(on&&end&&i==c.length-1){l.parentNode.replaceChild(d,l)\n}else{l.appendChild(d)}}l.onclick=function(){var t=this.childNodes;\nvar u=this.getAttribute("data-cycle")-0;var m=t.length;toggleText(t[u]);\nu=(u+1);if(!(out&&u==m)){u%=m;if(v){h[v]=c[u]}}else{h[v]=""}if((end||out)&&u==m-(end?1:0)){if(end){var n=this.removeChild(t[u]);\nn.className=rl+"End";n.style.display="inline";this.parentNode.replaceChild(n,this)\n}else{this.parentNode.removeChild(this);return}return}toggleText(t[u]);\nthis.setAttribute("data-cycle",u)}}};
I plod to the bathroom, my slippers swishing with every step. There's a calendar on the wall next to my [[bathroom mirror]] but it doesn't have pictures, only a [[big list]] over a grid of days, each marked with an X up until today: Wednesday.\n
I step outside but I'm not outside, I'm in a [[hallway]] with too many white doors and they all look the same, but with big names on the front of each, names I don't recognize.
I remember that movie my daughter liked but I didn't with that smiling actor with his crazy eyes--Carol, Clooney, Carrie, something like that--he thought he was going mad but it was everyone else who was lying, telling him they were real when they weren't.\n\nThis man has <<cyclinglink "crazy eyes" "Steve's eyes" "my daughter's eyes" "my eyes" end>>. [[I run.|run]]
There's a note on my door laminated with big letters:\n\n"Turn <<cyclinglink "right" "left" "back">>, go out the door at the end of the hallway, turn <<cyclinglink "left" "right" "back">>."\n\nI don't know why there's a sign like that in my house, I've lived here all my life and there's no hallway [[outside my front door]], only a few stairs leading down to a path to the driveway past [[my orange tree]].
The [[light]] shining through my window wakes me, pushing at my [[eyelids]] until I cave, opening them, staring at the gap between the curtains that betrayed me to the [[sun's beams|light]].
<<set $memories =$memories+1>>The tree in my yard <<cyclinglink "smells like oranges even when they aren't in season" "doesn't look like it has ever borne a fruit" "is barren and brown like Steve's skin">>, <<cyclinglink "with green leaves that feel like plastic and gleam in the Florida sun" "with leaves that are spiky and cruel that I wouldn't want to touch" "with bark that presses sharply into my fingertips">>. The grass below it [[doesn't grow anymore|hallway]]. <<if $memories gte 5>>I scattered Steve's ashes under that tree.<<endif>> I pull on my loose sweatpants and a flowing <<cyclinglink$didrecall "silk shirt" "polyester shirt" "shirt that probably isn't silk but something manufactured from a devastated rain forest but it feels soothing" "shirt that my daughter gave me" end>> and its color makes me feel more [[alive]].\n\n
<<if $memories lte 2>>My daughter...she's off in camp right now. Sleepaway camp, Steve said it would be good for her. Builds character. But there's no phones, that's why she hasn't called.<<endif>><<if$memories lte 4 && $memories gt 2>>My daughter...I don't know where she is now. Why isn't she here? Why hasn't she called? Doesn't she know I'm all alone here? <<endif>><<if$memories gte 5>>My daughter, that's why I'm here. She left me here. Took the money and left me here to rot.<<endif>>
The pillbox is labeled with the days of the week. I [[open the box]] for the day marked <<cyclinglink day "Monday" "Tuesday" "Wednesday" "Thursday" "Friday" "Saturday" Sunday">> I shuffle [[out of bed]] and stick on my <<cyclinglink "green" "gray" "blue">> fuzzy house [[slippers]] over wrinkled skin and chipped toenails. I start reading the list:\n\n1. Take your pills\n2. Take a shower\n3. Eat breakfast\n\nIt's already too much to remember. I look down and see my [[pillcase]] on the sink. html {\n /* Vertical colour gradient */\n background-image: linear-gradient(to bottom, gainsboro, black);\n background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, gainsboro, black);\n background-attachment: fixed;\n\n /* Fallback colour */\n background-color: silver;\n}\nbody {\n /* Remove default styles */\n background-color: transparent;\n margin: 10% 0 0 0;\n font-size: 100%;\n /* Used to center the box */\n text-align: center;\n}\n\n#passages {\n /* Box background (white with 70% opacity) */\n background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.7);\n\n /* Border */\n border: 2px solid white;\n\n /* Rounded corners */\n border-radius: 1em;\n\n /* Box width */\n width: 60%;\n\n /* Center the box */\n display: inline-block;\n min-height: 40%;\n margin:auto;\n margin-bottom: 5%;\n padding: 0px;\n}\n\n.passage {\n margin: 0px;\n /* Inner margin within the box */\n padding: 2em;\n\n /* Text formatting */\n color: black;\n font-size: 100%;\n text-align:justify;\n}\n\n/* No sidebar */\n#sidebar {\n display:none;\n}\n\n/* Links */\na.internalLink, a.externalLink {\n color: red;\n}\na.internalLink:hover, a.externalLink:hover {\n color: maroon;\n text-decoration: none;\n}\n\n/* Shrink the page when viewed on devices with a low screen width */\n@media screen and (max-width: 960px) {\n .passage { font-size: 90%;}\n #passages { width: 70%; }\n}\n@media screen and (max-width: 840px) {\n .passage { font-size: 87.5%; }\n #passages { width: 80%; }\n}\n@media screen and (max-width: 720px) {\n .passage { font-size: 75%; }\n #passages { width: 90%; }\n}\n I close my eyes and feel the embrace of water and memory. When I open my eyes, the stall is empty, my husband is <<cyclinglink "gone" "forgotten" "missing" "dead">> and there's only the warmth of a [[towel]] for comfort. "Hello Kathy," a calm voice interrupts before I make it too far down the hallway. I turn and see a man. I don't know him but he's smiling. He reminds me of [[someone my daughter liked.|someone]] <<setmemories = $memories + 1>>\nI like to wait before I open my eyes, drawing it out until the last moment, seeing my own face among the [[light]] patterns on the back of my eyelids. Not my face now, but my face younger, astride a horse, blue eyes looking ahead to an ever-closer horizon. Anastasia Salter I do <<cyclinglink "scream" "cry out" "wimper" end>>, though it's a weak sound, and no one turns but the other young people: a conspicuous young man standing outside his shop, a young woman who'd been chasing leaves across the lawn with a rake. They stop, and watch us, even as the man reminds me to "[[Calm down]]." <<set$memories = \$memories + 1>>My daughter got me those slippers, one trip out to the mall, lecturing me about the dangers of catching a chill at my age. What's my age got to do with anything, I wanted to say, and since when is she the one lecturing me? [[I took the slippers|out of bed]].\n\n<<display 'daughter'>>\n