He stepped outside and lifted his mailbox which was on the side of the house and he removed the paper and let the lid clang shut. The air was sharp, biting. The grass was white at the tips. He looked down at the mist that puffed from his mouth and then up at the mist of clouds high in the sky. The wind came and it was dry and made his hair stand up. He guessed minus thirteen, but the door was still open and inside it was warm at his back, so he shut the door and waited a moment. He decided on his original guess. Then he went back inside.
His phone told him it was only minus nine. He was getting closer, he thought, but really he wasn’t getting closer or further away; it was just guesswork.
Inside, he lay the newspaper on the table and began brewing some coffee and heating the stove to cook eggs and bacon. The front page of the newspaper advertised a sale across the entire page except the top where it mentioned a sports loss and something about the new stadium and also something about Justin Trudeau, probably something negative.
When his coffee and breakfast was finished he took it all to the breakfast table. He didn’t add anything to the coffee or any toast to his eggs and bacon. A frontiersman’s breakfast, he thought. He broke one egg so he had to scramble the rest. His bacon was crisp as glass. Black coffee was bitter, not at all to his taste, but it was the only way to take it. And the newspaper. No one read newspapers anymore, certainly not anyone his age. The paper was mostly ads and conservative thought pieces and sports news. He skimmed it all. It really was garbage, specially delivered to his house every morning for only fifty bucks for six months. A steal.
The morning ritual was a success except that he didn’t fit. He wanted to fit but he didn’t. It wasn’t him. But it could have been, with time, he thought. Consistency was what he needed. That was it. Consistency. Everything else would come from that.
When he was finished, his girlfriend came down the stairs and kissed him and went to work. It was the most disappointing thing about the day.
Day 260’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Rugged outdoorsman,” “Disappointment,” and, “The front page.”
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