With great effort, Paul dragged himself out of his nice, warm bed and prepared to face the cold world. By cold, I don’t mean that Paul had a depressing outlook on life, but that it was literally very cold. The weather had been very cold for a couple weeks now and didn’t give any indication that it was thinking about being anything but very cold. Paul didn’t like cold weather. He was a T-shirt person, and T-shirt people tend to become amusing shades of blue when it is very cold outside. He groggily fumbled out of the T-shirt he’d slept in and put on a fresh one with the Nine Inch Nails logo on the front. After he’d located a pair of jeans on the floor and put them on he began the ritual Sock Hunt. Socks and Paul didn’t get along. Being naturally evil things, the socks found it sadistically entertaining to hide from Paul or go on long, one way trips when put in the laundry. Paul suspected they gathered together while he was gone and laughed at him. Soon, though, he found a pair that hadn’t found an acceptable hiding place and punished them by putting them on.
Once downstairs and in the unwelcome light
of the kitchen, he
dumped a packet of hot chocolate
into a mug, sloshed milk into it and stuck the concoction into the
microwave. He set it for a minute thirty
and went to comb his hair while the box nuked his breakfast.
Paul rarely ate much in the morning. He’d
have liked to, but time was short on weekdays. He had to get
up too early already. The microwave beeped
as Paul was battling that one evil bit of hair that invariably refused
to lay flat. It was, Paul thought, trying to
be different. He wished it would just succumb to
Presently he was able to beat it into
submission and went back to the kitchen to drink his morning meal.
This done, it was time to brush his teeth
and clean his retainer.
Most people don’t derive much
pleasure from such a task, but Paul welcomed it. The plastic
dental appliance that kept his teeth in the order
that his braces had put them in was an ally of bad breath.
Paul could melt concrete with his morning breath.
As he was brushing the retainer, some of the toothpaste splattered the mirror. His mother would doubtless have his head on a stick if he didn’t clean it up, but he left the mess anyway. It was too early in the morning to care about where his skull would be later.
With one last longing glance at his bedroom door, Paul headed down the stairs to leave. If it were up to him, he’d still be sprawled across his bed, getting better acquainted with the Sandman. The longer he slept, the farther he’d be escaping from the evil of morning. Paul was decidedly not a morning person. Grumpily he headed out the door toward the dreaded place known to most as school.