It was just another 6 A.M., on January 19, 2021, when Selwin routinely and stubbornly, made his usual vain attempt to sit up but was, as regularly experienced previously, restrained and resoundingly thrust back down to his big, sleep- warmed soft pillow, by the irresistible pull of Orphean gravity. However, at 6:20  he did succeed in being fully awake and standing erect.  After pushing aside, the heavy bedroom window drapes (which had, in recent years, mysteriously appeared to emit an eerie, Orange glow) and looked down from the height of the four brick stories of his apartment at the street scene below. He noted that all seemed unchanged and regular; including that ever-present and mysterious, Orange stain. He saw it everywhere and on everything, policeman’s batons, and weapons, on television aerials, mailboxes, newsstands, and telephone poles. Yet, having during an entire period of four years, adjusted, as a matter of practical necessity, to such ubiquitous, Orange-like shimmer, he was sufficiently reassured that all continued to be unchanged and unremarkable.

After a brief shower, Sherwin opted for his regular breakfast, vanilla yogurt, elderberry jam, two un-buttered multi-grain biscuits and a cup of unsweetened green tea. It was too early to go to his job, (where he was employed as a senior apprentice bagel baker) thus, as was his custom, Sherwin decided, to take his customary walk. He decided this time, however, to hike to the verdant and attractive suburban area as a needed respite from his customary, treeless, concretized, and citified route.

The walk took place in cloudy, unpleasant, and threatening weather conditions. As Selwin neared the suburban area, he was surprised and disappointed to observe lawns which were not green and healthy but sickly, desiccated, and evincing much of the ominous, Orange tinge. Residential decorative plantings appeared droopy and orange-fringed, rather than bursting with verdant health and many trees wore occasional Orange colored wilted leaves. Selwin was heartsick to observe the deterioration and the  all-pervasive, wistful vista of the ambient environment, which appeared to be in a decaying, and unhealthy state. Our protagonist dejectedly returned home and that evening, following a tasteless dinner and a few hours of depressed rumination, disconsolately, retired for the night.

After enduring a long and restless night of inadequate sleep, Selwin awoke, as customary, at 6A.M. on the 20th day of January 2021, feeling surprisingly, and unexplainably, rested, and relaxed. On this occasion, he arose effortlessly to a sitting position, and then jumped up to a standing position with alacrity, with inexplainable sensation of joy and relief. As he routinely walked to the window, he noticed the absence of the mysterious Orange emanation from his drapes. Looking at the street scene, he confusedly, but happily, noted the absence of the ominously appearing, Orange hue from newsstands, telephone poles, police batons, television antennae, in short, from everywhere.

He showered quickly, ate his customary breakfast, (vanilla yogurt, elderberry jam, two unbuttered multi-grain biscuits and a cup of unsweetened green tea)  and then quickly descended the stairs to begin his morning walk; this time, a reprise of his previous disappointing hike to the sub-urban part of the City. He noted with pleasure, that the weather this day was sunny and comfortable and was absolutely nonplussed and joyfully relieved observing this day, the healthy, natural color and appearance of the fresh verdant trees and plants. This walk, by contrast, seemed to have rewarded him with secure feelings of confidence and normality; of positive feelings, barely remembered.

When back at work,  busily engaged in salting and sprinkling onion bits on yet unbaked bagels, he ruminated upon the sea change between the dismal reality of the 19th of January, and the ostensibly “religious miracle,” merely one day later, the 20th day of January, which had evinced such joy and relief.  The only thing he was ultimately able to conjure up, was the (no doubt, irrelevant, he thought) inauguration of a new President but, truthfully, nothing thing else.



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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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