85558e23-57eb-4cda-ae3e-f23ac9b37a31Alarm goes off. 0930 on a Sunday. I’ve been in and out of sleep for the last few hours, enjoying the quiet start. I call out, disabling the alarm, and pull out the comm to check for messages.

Two automated alerts show matches on the dating bulletins came in overnight. Some time between 0100 and 0800, which probably means they were drunk-matches. Lonely women post-night out, back at home and lamenting their solitude. It happens most weekends – the only reliable time I can predict a match is in the late hours of a Saturday night where, really, it is the early hours of Sunday morning.

I message them to say hi, doubting they will reply – most people are just using these things for the confidence boost that a match gives them, not to actually talk.

I check the news feed: yes, the world is still on fire. I sigh, and get up. Brew caf, leaving it to sit while I wash. Hot water sprayed on my body and cleaning the last tendrils of sleep away. I watch the thickening curls of mist through the wash-room, judging the temperature of the hab by the amount of steam that is collecting. Not too much, means not too cold, means not a cold day outside, either.

Breakfast is a heated roll with nut-paste smeared across it. I check the comm again, scrolling the data feed mindlessly as I do. Mild distraction, nothing meaningful. I drink the caf.

Hab needs a clean – an inspection due in a couple of days. Not sure I can be bothered to do the clean right now, though. I have a look around at what I need to tidy. Not too much, maybe just putting things away and a wipe down of surfaces. Scrub the food prep areas. Advantage of a small hab.

I note that the plants, two splashes of life in the place, aren’t looking great. Leaves are browning, I think I may be over-watering. I clean off some of the dead leaves and empty out the water tray. Check the comm again, sitting back on the hab’s couch. Browsing aimlessly.

Eventually, I pull together some stuff, throwing them in a bag, and shoving in a book, too. I head to the local precinct, where I will have a another caf and read in public for a while. On the way out, I notice someone has smashed up the block’s main lock overnight. I wonder who has anger management issues. Didn’t heart the neighbour’s arguing, so maybe not them – or maybe I was asleep.

Two hours later, I’m back in the hab, having also wandered around some side roads for a bit. Mild exploration, learning parts of the area I’ve lived in for the last eight months. Someone has fixed the lock while I was out. I’m vaguely surprised, but also relieved. Nice to know the main door is secure. I wonder what they story as, there. A bad night, a hungover morning, hiding their traces? Or a diligent landlord, spotting and fixing an attempted break-in on their rounds? I don’t know. I’ll never know.

I’ve been feeling the call of alcohol a lot lately, wanting to spend my nights sitting in a gloomy bar and drinking wine. It’s been much harder to resist than usual, and I’m eating junk food a lot more to counter it. Not a healthy thing to do; I need to motivate myself to get out ands exercise again. Got to get out for a run, maybe. But, I think I know already, not today. I can’t go back to alcohol, not yet, or maybe it will be me having the bad nights again. There were too many of them, before I stopped. Got to find another outlet for my frustrations with life, instead.

Some nights in Citadel are, indeed, neon-lit adventures into the black unknown. The spaces between life where people meet and mix, abandoning their concerns in hedonistic delight. Some days are quests through the tall buildings and ancient parks, exploring the paths, traces and the history of those who came before you in the deep past of this place.

Other days, well, maybe they are just for being. Right now, it is a time between times, as winter winds down and spring hints that it may come. Where the financial ruin of the holiday season begins to ease, and the weather starts to accommodate those who would like to be outside, where they can connect with others. But it’s not here, not yet.

I sit back on the couch, and fire up the entertainment terminal. I pull out my comm and simultaneously browse the data feed. Not really reading anything, just passing time. Letting hours slip by, and the weekend happen to other people.

Vaguely disappointed at self, for not making more of my day. Vaguely disappointed at self, for not making more of my life.


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