When I get up she’s playing Xbox in her underwear. Sitting on the couch and distracted, an empty mug wedged into the hollow cross of her legs. Coffee, she says, trying to make it sound like an offer, not looking up from the screen. I can hear the buttons clicking while she doesn’t look at me. I pace around behind her while I wait for the kettle. Window to bench, bench to couch, couch to table, table to window. Checking into the corners with measured steps. I walk over and ease the mug from her lap.

‘What do you want to do today?’ she asks the screen.

The kettle screams.

I don’t know, I say, whatever you’re into.

Something scratches at the back of my mind, some fragmented dream wanting to come back into consciousness. I try not to think while I fix our coffees, letting a little bit of Zen seep in with the sugar and instant granules. There’s too much immediacy and the dream nags.

‘It’s nice out,’ she says.

Pieces of dreams float in and out, thoughtless nothings that fail to catch. I walk over and put the mug down in front of her and she reaches out, wrapping her hand around my forearm. Her fingers are cold and I find myself looking at the shadows of the room as though they hid an explanation.

‘I love you,’ she says, and I lean down into her kiss.

In my dream I say, I love you, and then lose some small McGuffin. I spend my life searching, asking familiar strangers for directions to places I’ve already been. Go on, they say in idle tones, and I walk on until I wake, scattering hopes around me like sand thrown at the wind.

I heard its going to rain, I say, and walk out onto the balcony.

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