1980. A (wannabe) designer manufactures reasons to call in sick. Two years after graduating from the Los Angeles Institute of Fashion Design, she labors in a sweatshop an hour's commute from her studio apartment in the ghetto. Fabulous wardrobe. Factory job.
1985. A wife (double-income-no-kids) gulps aspirin to tamp down a hangover after the previous nights attempt to anesthetize herself––downing wine at a smoky blues bar. Husband's beer bottle next to her plastic cup, his chair angled so she'd seen only the back of his shoulder. Two-car garage. Credit Cards.
2000. A divorcee pauses in her kitchen doorway. She fills a kettle and catches her Mona Lisa reflection in the window above the sink. After the pot whistles, her hands close around a steaming mug. Wool socks. Chamomile tea.
2005. A seeker lies on a narrow bed, on the final morning of retreat. In the nightlight's glow, yesterday's dharma talk seems to flicker across the ceiling. … biggest impediment to awakening is the belief there's an impediment …. Zafu. Yoga mat.
2015. A woman opens her bedroom window and leans into winter. Above the patio, a half moon hangs in the navy blue sky. The air smells like new snow. It is bracing, against her breasts. Wrapped in the gentle snoring that drifts up from her bed, she pads downstairs for breakfast. Bare feet. Birthday oatmeal.