Systematic, regulated calm.
I unlock the door, step onto the smooth familiarity of a polished wooden floor. My soles soak up the coolness of sun-deprived boards. "Scratchy, scratchy." I sing out to the German Shepard in the corner of the room who is batting at his ear with his hind paw. A brief thought crosses my mind, something about a vet, but I smell responsibility beneath the fleeting sentiment and willfully, almost guiltily, push it to the side of my mind where it finds its place between tomorrows' chores and today's' class work.
I'm not sure when lighting incense became habitual, but I surmise that it might've been somewhere in between a lazy Sunday afternoon and a rushed Monday morning. I must have seen or read about it somewhere and in all my romanticizing tendencies, decided to embrace it. The first time, smoke attacked my eyes and made them water, a half-burnt ashy bit fell off the stick upon my palm and left a mark for weeks.
I breathe the scent in deeply now - a mixture of citronella and smoke.
Joey Pecoraro's Tired Boy jazzes on. I look through the film photos just developed last night. None of them catch my eye in particular. Instead of feeling disappointed, a curious sense of gratitude for the moment fills me. My music, my scented air, my words. All self-centered but I see the effects rolling out from this little space in waves.
Slowly, I feel the bits and pieces of who I am gather themselves.
It's a Friday afternoon.