A bench in the shower takes the pressure off my feet, and the steady drumbeat of the water on my back has a therapeutic effect, though if I sit here much longer, I might never get up. Getting dressed is made easier by the pills, which have begun to assert their influence. I avoid clothing with too many buttons or laces, although I'm still addicted to Levi's 501s, making me a fashion victim in the truest sense of the word. In lieu of proper brushing, I raise my twitching fingers up to my hairline and, raking it back, hope for the best. Executing a slow shuffle (my legs haven't yet earned my trust for the day), I make my way out to greet my family.
At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame. I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass. Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see. This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, "What are you smiling about?," but I already know the answer: "It just gets better from here."