When Turner woke up he felt strange, but quickly attributed it to the strange Oriental meal he had eaten the night before. He felt light headed, but strangely focussed. He felt weak, but energized. He decided a shower was a good idea, and moved off to the bathroom, trying not to wake his girlfriend.
After the shower he brushed his teeth, mind empty, until he happened to raise his eyes and look in the mirror. His toothbrush-laden hand stopped brushing. He saw himself.
Turner could not remember feeling like that. Sure, he had seen himself in the morror lots of times, but never really seen himself. He looked past his eyes and his fine-looking features, and the hair he wouldn’t brag about but was definitely proud of, past the well-built shoulders and muscular torso and into the person he really was underneath all the layers. For the very first time in his life, he understood who he was inside, and it was good.
He started brushing his teeth again, looking down, and couldn’t help smiling. He had the feeling it was going to be a great day.
Outside the world was spinning, encumbered by its own morning routine. As Turner walked through it, he felt no longer a part of the disorder, frustration, and anger that draped the city as the night had only a few hours prior. He almost did not want to admit it to himself-it was kind of cheesy-but Turner was a being of light and love, there was no getting around it, and, really, what was wrong with that?
So as the horns sounded, brakes squealed, and voices from people afraid to be shortchanged screeched, Turner passed it all, aloof, and headed towards his office. It was a short walk, but it was long enough to see that others, also, were noticing the change.
“Good morning,” he said warmly, smiling at people. Heads started to turn.
“How’s it going, man?” a young man stopped him. “Nice day, isn’t it?”
“It sure is,” Turner agreed, for once in no rush. He stopped and scanned the sky. “It sure is. Anything can happen. What do you have planned for today?”
“Weeeell,” the young man began, apparently satisfied he had stopped the stranger. “I have to work now, but later I’m going to take my girlfriend down towards the water.”
“That sounds magnificent!” Turner couldn’t help saying. “You make sure that girl gets the best of you while you’re with her. She deserves it, doesn’t she? But I guess I don’t have to tell you that, do I?” Turner smiled, intensely happy for the young man.
“No, sir, you do not!” the young man answered, moving off. “You have a good one.”
Turner watched him bounce off, admiring his youthful vigor.
At work people all but stared at Turner. He passed the time listening to his colleagues, being generous with his time and smiles, offering a good word whenever he could. The meeting he had-they had all seemed so important-no longer had an aggressive, urgent edge. There was something about his presence in the room that made it easier for everyone else to listen, to appreciate, and even to let their guards down. No one seemed to need to prove anything. Upon leaving, someone mentioned that the meeting was the best one they had had in a long time, and everyone agreed. Turner smiled.
When he got home later that day he took his girlfriend in his arms and squeezed her tight. Leaning back, he said: “You are easily the most magnificent thing that has happened to me today, which says a lot. You are the best thing that has happened to me in my life, and I can’t thank you enough for it. There is nothing else I could want from this day, or this life, than to be with you here and now.” He shushed her before she could answer, and pressed a passionate, warm kiss to her lips.
The next morning the alarm went off and Turner hammered at it, bleary-eyed. He stumbled groggily to the bathroom and began brushing his teeth in a daze. He found himself looking in the mirror but could not say how long he had been doing it. Maybe he was done brushing his teeth?
Leaving the bathroom, he stubbed his toe on the door frame, and it took all of his energy not to scream. It was going to be a long day…