I can hear the slapping sound of rubber tyres on the wet road. The realization that it’s rainy helps me push the snooze button an extra time. Again I think- winter will be tough for me.

I shower in the dark because the light annoys me. From the shower recess, I stare out the window in the unconsciousness between asleep and awake. The pavement is darker from the rain and the window is speckled with water, but the sky is a clear grey.

Despite a late night chicken soup cookfest the previous evening, the pot sits on the stove as I walk out the door. I realize on the landing of the stairs to the subway station. I stop. Do I go back or give up? The crowd squeezes up and swears at me as the flow of human traffic is impeded. As I don’t actually need to be at the office early, I opt for a retrieval. More complaints from my fellow subway riders as I try to navigate back through the peak hour flow.

There is an old man cleaning the entrance hall and stairwells. He is hunched over the mop and watches the residents trek through his cleaning with a quasimodo-like turn of the head. Clearly a glutton for punishment given that it’s wet outside.

The subway this morning doesn’t require us to hunch our shoulders for protection or hug our bags to our body. The advantage of a later departure I suppose. I finish my book-‘Brisbane’. Paul has left it for me from his visit. Originally a present intended for someone else, I managed to inherit it. I receive lots of thing by default rather than intention…. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Guess I am lucky. Yes, that’s the interpretation I am going to add to that one.

The exit from the subway train is an absolute crush. I’ve managed to be very close to the exit as I depart the train and immediately feel crowded. I walk with very tiny steps and notice the multiple women climbing stairs.

This is a city full of beautiful women people tell me. But I ride the train every day, and I don’t see them. There is an endless array of very confident women. Women in leggings with bums I should not have to witness. Hip-shaking walks that beg for attention. T-shirts that don’t actually fit. Stilt-like stilettos with casual outfits. Mini-skirts and plunging necklines on the coldest of days. I feel like I should drop some business cards for Trinny and Susannah. Except I would get punched I am sure.

On all levels it would seem the city is tough, and the women competitive. The dress code is just one display of this.

I ride the escalator in my ‘artist-smock shirt’ and my black pants, watching my feet to avoid the procession of ‘oh-so-short’ skirts scaling the other side of the escalator. I don’t need to see people’s breakfasts.

Maybe these supposedly beautiful women are all taking taxis.