Reds, oranges, and yellows burn from the walls, intended to wake the occupants at just the right moment in their sleep cycle. Michael’s body is still heavy with the night’s dreams and he struggles against letting them go. Even though it didn’t totally make sense, he was enjoying the train ride with winged creatures and felt a new adventure was about to begin. But as soon as his eyes are open, the dream evaporates and the reality of today’s depression sets in.
Michael swings his legs over the side of the bed as the walls ease to a light yellow, and takes six short steps towards the black circle on the floor. As soon as both feet are flat on it, a circular wall encloses him. The space left inside for Michael is wide enough for him to stretch his arms out wide, and rises from floor to ceiling. Water and soap then rushes down on him, and once he is clean, the water is replaced by hot air to dry him.
As the cylinder retracts and he is standing in the open space of his bedroom again, Michael thinks over the day’s schedule and lines form across his forehead.
On the wall behind him is an empty closet. Not for long. He touches the screen on the door and an image of himself appears in bright red underwear. He taps the screen several times until a pair that are plain black appear instead. He taps a green tick in the corner and goes through a similar process until he can find a plain black suit. Black tie. Black socks. Black shoes. No hat.
When complete, the screen spins the image of this well-dressed version of Michael before flashing the question “finished?” He feels a stab in his chest before again selecting the green tick. Michael pulls open the closet door and the clothes he selected are on the shelves.
Standing in front of his mirror, Michael looks ready for the ceremony but feels far from prepared.

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