It was 7:42 and the 450 was stuck in traffic on McClellan Highway, only one stop past Suffolk Downs. Michael was almost certain to be late reaching the Third Sight offices. Normally, of course, he would not need to take the bus, since his hammock home was right in Porter Square Station. There were few advantages to his living situation since Michael had been evicted from my former apartment after my death, but an ease of commute was certainly one of them.
However, since Michael had spent the night in Revere in the home of another, he had to take the bus. Since the creation of Red Line, there were no longer Monthly LinkPass Charlie Cards that allowed transit between Red Line and the still-extant MBTA transit lines. Mayor Powell had been in negotiations with the MBTA general manager to create a shared fare structure since March 23, but the process was slow moving. However, since Third Site Media was on the Green Line, Michael had a Charlie Card already. This was convenient for those mornings -- becoming more frequent, of late -- that he began his day in Revere.
Normally I would worry to see Michael looking quite so scruffy. The untucked Bright Sessions t-shirt, the Red Sox cap tied to his head with a piece of string -- I would worry these were signs of his illness returning. Now, however, I knew that these were indicators of Michael having difficulty starting his day for a more benevolent reason. He continued to update my calendar -- his calendar, now -- as I always had.
6:00 AM: Hit snooze button.
6:05 AM: Hit snooze button.
6:10 AM: Hit snooze button.
6:15 AM: Hit snooze button. Listen to Mallory's tirade about my motherfucking goddamn cunt of an alarm clock.
6:18 AM: Turn off alarm. Fall asleep while listening to Mallory sleep-rant.
6:47 AM: Wake up in a panic. Brush teeth.
6:51 AM: Run out the door in yesterday's clothes.
I still worried, because if Michael were too late to work, Third Sight might terminate his employment and leave him unable to maintain his sobriety. However, the new management of Third Sight media was, if frequently annoying, vastly more benevolent than the old management.
Michael nearly fell asleep standing on the bus. When the bus approached Haymarket, and his fellow commuters began their precipitous rush to the door (far earlier than necessary, given the traffic patterns), he awoke with a start upon being jostled. "What the fuck?" he yelled, and then immediately apologized profusely, blushing an unfortunate tomato shade, to all and sundry.
Michael's vocabulary has taken a definite shift toward the vulgar, recently. It appalls him, though he certainly doesn't intend to change the circumstances which have led to his increased cursing.
Michael was surprised, though I was not, when Mallory arrived at the Newton offices of Third Sight Media that afternoon, bearing some Italian food which was most certainly not from Olive Garden, as well as the hoodie Michael had forgotten in her kitchenette. They ate at the park bench outside the office complex, and Michael smiled, soothed by the food (an entire plain cheese pie from Pizzeria Regina), the sunshine (warm on his face despite the October day), and Mallory's conversation (wide ranging). She holds forth on such topics as her rats ("the cutest fucking babies, I swear, even while they're still all naked and pink and blind as shit") and Michael's hooded sweatshirt ("you have to replace the string in the hood, otherwise this fucking wind will give you, like, the plague or something. And I'm in medicine, and I'm awesome, so you should fucking trust me.")
Michael is late, and scruffy, and happy.