I woke up in cold sweat, 5 A.M. Had a bad dream. This happens to me sometimes; I dream something strange, wake up at an odd hour and then somehow force myself to take a shower ... so hard to get out of bed.

In my dream, my apartment was covered in ice and rust. I walked around it, naked and cold, with an intense feeling of being hunted, running with nowhere to run, trapped. Then I woke up.

I sat up in my bed and put my bare feet to the floor. The floor is always cold in the morning, and it sent a shiver up my spine. No matter; I need to wake up. The dreams always get worse once I fall back into them.

I took my glasses of the bedside table gently and looked for a towel in the dresser.

Top drawer, towels, blue, I thought to myself as I painstakingly ruffled about for the blue towel.

God, I'm so out of sorts in the morning. Can barely act without thinking it in my head first.

My feet felt hard against the cold floor as I walked to the bathroom. The apartment felt a lot colder than usual. Probably just the dream lingering, a subtle suggestion that had taken root.

I opened the door to the bathroom and flicked the light switch. The lamp blinked on and hummed in the echo of the bare room. It felt nice and warm in here, I thought as I took off my shirt and underwear, put them on the toilet, the shirt first, then the underwear on top.

I glanced at my face in the mirror, lingered on it for a moment. I like looking into my eyes and imagining that I'm another person, looking at me. Not always, but sometimes, I actually feel as if I'm staring at a stranger. It feels a bit like dreaming.

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I kept looking at myself as I stepped into the shower. I turned the tap and felt the warm water wash over me. I could feel my body warm up like an ice cube dropped into a cup of freshly brewed tea. The drowsiness melted away. Just a normal post-nightmare morning.

After the shower, I walked into the kitchen to get something I could drink. Was never much for eating in the morning. I always preferred heavy liquids, like a health shake or some juice. I opened the fridge. I always hope to find something in there that becomes a happy surprise, but this fridge has a very uninteresting history. All that's in there now is some orange juice, a couple of eggs, last night's takeaway and a can of cola. I took the juice and drank right from the spout of the carton. No need for vanity, I thought.

After a few gulps of the strangely bitter beverage, I noticed the newspaper on the rug next to my door. I picked it up.

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