They were an architect on Monday, a cashier at a grocery store Tuesday, and a researcher of whale sounds on Wednesday. They spent all day on a boat in the middle of the ocean with big headphones pressed against their ears.
On Thursday, they were a stay-at-home mom. They had three lovely children, two in school, one that got to stay in their arms all day and they'd never felt so much love.
On Friday, they were an elderly man, living in a nursing home, spending the day looking at pictures of their late wife and losing themselves in memory.
By Saturday, underneath who they were that day, the college student crippling under stress, they began to feel tired. It had been this way as long as they could remember. Every day a different person, a different life they borrowed for the day. There wasn't much they could do. Their life for the day always had control of the wheel, so to speak. They weren't sure why they lived like this or if there were others like them who jumped lives from day to day. They couldn't exactly remember the first day. Their memories were fuzzy early, they supposed mostly like anyone's. Each day, when they came into a new life, they felt everything that person was feeling that day, all their pain, their joy, their sorrow, their fears. Some days were wonderful and kind, but others were full of anguish, and the constant change was beginning to wear on them.
When they woke up Sunday, they blinked their eyes open to stars painted on the ceiling. They lay there, waiting for this person - whoever they were - to stretch, yawn, roll over and go back to sleep, spring up, something. But nothing happened. And they didn't hear the same rush of thoughts that always came first thing in the morning: got to turn in that report; I'm so tired; can't the kids learn to be quieter; God, what did I do last night. There was always something painting the first thoughts of the day, mixed with the taste of the last dream, like the flavor of yesterday's dinner still coming through as they brushed their teeth in the morning. But there was nothing.
After several minutes, they sat up. They sat up. Not this girl who was lying there on the bed in boxer shorts and a tank top. Though it was her too. But they sat up. They had actually meant to. Heart racing, they padded across the room to the mirror. The floor was littered with piles of clothes, stacks of books. The face staring back from the mirror was soft and kind with thick brown hair twisted in a bun on top. They smiled.
Breathing softly, they walked to balcony door at one end of the bedroom and opened it onto the tiny, cramped patio. There were far too many potted plants shoved in one corner and a collapsed folding chair. They looked out at the city glistening under the blue sky. They raised their head as a flock of seagulls soared overhead. Somewhere in the distance, they could smell salty water. They breathed in heavily, smiling as the air filled their nostrils. They reached up and yanked the scrunchy out of their bun and laughed as their hair fell out into the wind.
They didn't know why. And maybe it was only today. But today would be a good one.