I haven't felt so cold, so far away in ages. Where I"m walking the city is empty, and the streets only lead to more streets, my thoughts only lead to more thoughts. Everything is at a distance, like a hand stretched out towards me but not quite getting there. A police car to my left. Lights flashing to scare the people in the brothel there, or is it a church? I can never tell. Nuns, prostitutes, police - they're all the same to me. Nothing I can relate to.

The wind tries to take off my new orange hat and fails. I love my new hat. Sometimes I get angry because all I ever wear is blue, but then I think about my hat, and I feel more balanced. Too much blue isn't good for anybody.

I can't say this to anyone, that nothing feels quite right. Things have always been a little "not right," but this time it's not something I can push away and forget about. I can't tell anyone because they're all trying so hard to bring me in, but they can never quite get there. Because I won't let them in. I know, it's my own damn fault, and this scares me.

I stop off at a coffee shop for no particular reason (this entire walk is for no particular reason, I guess). Food seems like a good idea, like something I should need right now. It's warm inside and I feel better staring at the promising row of baked goods, always leading to something bigger and tastier and stuffed with even more mysterious things. A flickering alarm in the back of my head warns me that I should get back to studying ( I really am going to fail this time), but I refuse to feel guilty. All I want to do is stand here where it's warm, where midnight doesn't matter and there are no clocks on the wall to make me count the seconds like parts of my life.

I start to wonder what it would be like to lie there, piled in a rown with the baked goods behind the plastic sneeze-guard (I've always been tempted to sneeze on one of these contraptions just to see if it would alarm anyone, if they would still buy anything under the plastic). I think I would enjoy this on a night like tonight. Baked goods don't have to study. Baked goods don't have to deal with professors who have white moustaches and look like they should be pinned down under glass like a dead butterfly, Latin name and all. Englishus Professorus, that's what it would say. Professors who don't understand why you'd rather stare out the window than pay attention. Well, if they want my attention then they have to give me something back, something worth paying for. Like orange hats. Orange hats are worth paying for. And muffins. Everybody likes muffins.

I buy a muffin for this reason, and because it seems to be the only baked good that's not thoroughly enjoying itself under the sneeze-guard. It has blueberries. I like blueberries.

I leave the warmth of the little shop (it seems like the right thing to do) and head home, thinking about snow and frost and cigarettes and how everything will be winding into winter soon. In the back of my mind, it's already there, and as I walk in the door to my building I keep my hat on to quiet everything down.

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