"You look like I feel," said Brigid from the counter, where she hovered over a half-finished bowl of cereal. "I thought you were a morning person."
"Unh?" said Greg again. "I feel terrible. I don't understand it. I went to bed normally, I slept normally ... but I feel like I've been up for 24 hours with a pair of crying babies screeching into each ear and someone rubbing lemon juice into my eyes."
"Welcome to my world."
"I know ... I never really understood what it was like before. I feel like one giant bruise. Every inch of my body feels like it's been pummeled by an angry librarian with particularly pointy knuckles. And you go through this every morning?" He managed to slide along the wall and into the kitchen, where he stood staring at the coffee maker as if trying to figure out what planet it was from.
"Well, not every morning," said Brigid. "But six out of ten, I'd say."
"It's horrific," he said, and with a look of sudden realization reached for the cabinet containing the coffee mugs. "How do you keep from stepping in front of the nearest bus and ending it all?"
"Mostly by pushing other people in front of the bus instead," Brigid replied. "By the way, there's no coffee in that coffee. We ran out yesterday."
Greg stopped where he was as if he'd just heard the worst news of his life. "Right. Tell my secretary to hold my calls, I'm going to go back and die peacefully in my bed." He began the long slide back along the wall towards the hallway.
Brigid looked over at the answering machine. "Hold his calls," she said.
"Thanks," said Greg, stumbling off towards his room. "It's nice to know I can count on you in a crisis."
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