Richard, Alone (Day 42)

Richard sat alone in his usual booth. Alone. Yes, that was getting less and less difficult to accept recently, as if the last two weeks held some solvent that had finally cleared the accretions of Her from at least the more visible surfaces of his soul.

Fourteen weeks. Every day of every one of them had been simultaneously a uniquely skewering and yet numbingly monotonous experience. But he was pretty sure all that was finally behind him, that he was back on his feet, his old self, all the usual bullshit.

He wasn’t sure why he had decided to start coming here. At first he had just stumbled numbly in, since it was only a few blocks from his apartment and he realized that he probably needed to start curtailing the anesthetizing consumption of alcohol before it got out hand and began to consume him. A coffee shop seemed at the moment the next best thing, and now, two and a half months and nearly five hundred cups of coffee later, he was about as much a fixture as the tables and chairs. Of course, given that he was starting to regain his equilibrium, that probably meant he was going to have to begin to emerge from this safe haven into the slipstream of a social life.

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