I was awake staring at the screen until eye-strained tears blearied my vision and my muscles forgot to blink to clear them away. Stiff neck. Empty stomach. Twitchy mousefinger. 5:38am.

I got up to use the bathroom a few minutes ago. But that was actually a few hours ago. I needed another Mountain Dew, dammit.

Few environments are suited for such oblivious concentration as a cozy glowing monitor in a dark, dark bedroom. A comfortable chair. Delicious sugary soda. Utter silence punctuated by virtual gunshots and that familiar voice cackling “killing spree.”

Now the glow was starting to fade as the sun poked its fingers between the blinds. Somewhere outside, a bird began to chirp. Something putrid struck my nose and I realized it was me. Wretched morning, go away.

I shakily rose from my seat, took one step, and tumbled onto my bed. My soft, beloved temple of slumber, I’d forgotten its charms. But I was only to rest my eyes for a few minutes. I was due to leave in an hour, after all. First day at the new job.

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