Most of her assistants arrive at nine thirty, but she prefers to get in early, at least an hour or so before the chaos of the fax machine and the switchboard operator sets in at the office. It gives her time to think, brew her second pot of coffee, review her appointments and schedule. It was to be a busy day. She drops her purse on the couch, and sits at her desk, staring at the notes she had written the previous day, the words passing before heavy eyes that did much of nothing.
Kitty Breddock feels as if she hadn’t had a solid hour’s worth of sleep the night before, her eyelids beg to close under the halogen lights. It’d been years since she had any trouble sleeping, since she’d fully mastered the visualization techniques she learned with her psychotherapist. The meditations aided to lay images of the fire finally to rest. For months they infiltrated her skull anytime she closed her eyes black, the blackness turning to red and gray, the colors melting and turning into one another, distorting into hell. It’s how she imagined the fall. They sporadically enter, usually on the anniversary when patriotism saturates the air, the television (which she learned to never watch on those days), and the radio. Even those, she managed to stave off though, with alcohol helping to abate feeling. A remedy that was essentially guaranteed.
She wanted to think of her son, wished it was him, yet he didn’t make an appearance. Work was also out of the picture, and instead she saw herself walking through her wardrobe closet, scanning her options for what to wear the next day for dinner. Over and over, she perused the selection, and even till morning, she hadn’t made a decision for the occasion. It was her co-workers’ suggestion to try and meet potential matches from online sources, and after some cajoling she finally relented and agreed to go for cocktails with an accountant named Greg who ironically works in her same building. They had never met before, simply because she was married before. They had made to go to Daddy’s on Dwight, close enough so that she could leave early with a taxi if she wanted yet far enough from work to ensure a slight moment of privacy. That’s what she thought, and what made her agree to go out with the first man since the other had slipped away.