It started the way any normal, mundane trend in life does: without notice. The long, rough weekend preceding a particularly stressful work week. The night of sleep interrupted by the dog barking or a car backfiring as it passed by. The series of small, yet frustrating missteps in the routine that formed a gravely pathway downhill.
Caught up in the everyday requirements or her existence, she did her best to ignore the grains of sleep in her eyes that no amount of rubbing could remove. She stifled the yawns in meetings and drank extra cups of coffee. She went to bed early, leaving the to-do list undone so she would have the time to finally catch up. But the promise of a good night’s sleep continued to elude her and her mind began to lag behind the events of the day.
The e-mails she had read and planned to respond to but forgot in the shuffle of an answered phone call and questions about papers on her desk. The questioning expressions on the faces of those she talked to when she lost the words she’d been speaking. The letters that got half composed and the confusion that flooded her when she tried to remember what she’d been saying.
Home life refused to grant her a reprieve. Dinner got burned and ingredients went missing leaving her with a bad taste in her mouth and queasiness that lingered. The dog got walked multiple times as she couldn’t remember when she’d last performed the task. Time slipped by unnoticed and she’d startle as if waking up from a dream, then wonder how it had gotten so late without the vital chores getting done.
The moments that didn’t match up, the gaps in her narrative, the spaces in-between the normal details of her life. They started to build-up; sticking to each other like so many half-chewed pieces of gum. Each uncompleted task, each non sequitur moment building up and clouding her mind. She existed on auto-pilot, the monotony of her days propelling her forward, moving her from place to place without her input or direction.
Until the moment that she awoke, and found herself staring at a face in the mirror which she did not recognize.