43. The next day

I awoke the next morning feeling much better – as good as new, as a matter of fact. I walked into the bathroom to shave and had a look at the unexpected face in the mirror.

The swelling was gone. So were the cuts, scrapes and broken blood vessels. As a matter of fact, so was that tiny chicken pox scar that had been on my nose since I was a baby. I can’t help but find that a little odd.

I turned on the radio news while brushing my teeth. The main story was about some cardinal visiting our country who had been struck by lightning. It killed him. I turned off the radio and spat, then looked at my reflection again.

Nope. It had to be a coincidence. With such a fucked-up administrative hierarchy ruling the universe, I decided that I really had to believe in coincidence.

Jeff wasn’t expecting me today, so I decided to go for a nice long walk. I stopped off at the deli to eat their hangover breakfast. I wasn’t hung today, but it still tasted good. It was one of those perfect, brisk, sunny autumn days. My sneakers made a lot of noise in the fallen leaves, but it wasn’t hurting my brain today. That was nice too.

I walked into a grocery store to buy some tissues. Jeff had used a whole box while nursing to my wounds yesterday. All the boxes had flowers or butterflies on them. I turned to the woman beside me and said, “It sure is hard to find a manly box of tissues.”

She smiled as she put a box in her cart. “Well let’s see if we can’t find you something.”

She started digging though the shelves, and showing me various boxes. It was nice of her to help, but I felt badly for wasting her time. I grabbed the box with the darkest flowers on it. “This one will be good enough. Thanks.” And then I fled.

It wasn’t until I was halfway home that it occurred to me: Maybe she was helping because she was interested in me? No, man, she was just being nice. Best not to be too presumptuous about these things. And really, she was probably just being nice. She had a really great smile. Some women DO smile, you know. Actually most do.

After a burger and fries from my favourite chip truck, I walked back home.