After watching the digital clock for a while, she decides on getting up at four in the morning rather than lying in the darkness any longer. It’s the darkness in her mind keeping her up anyway. Better to turn on the lights.
She almost falls asleep on the train going to her morning class and almost asleep again coming home. So when she gets home, she lies down and goes to sleep.
She wakes up in the dark. This is rain dark, not night dark. Wondering why hunger follows afternoon naps, she opens the frig to find it mostly empty.
After the cashier has rung up the grocery cart with two hundred dollars worth of selected items, she realizes her wallet is on the kitchen table at home. She explains. She goes home. She comes back.
The cashier is kind, and he says, “No worries, You are not alone”, meaning this happens all the time.
Confused at the payment keypad between “CLEAR” and “ACCEPT”, she decides on “ACCEPT” because it’s green and likes that he has told her she is not alone.
Outside, near the entrance to the grocery store, someone has permanently written in once wet cement “The Dali Lama” under an also permanent sentence.
The sentence says, “Find hope in the darkness and focus on the light”.