Brandon stumbled out of the bedroom, sleep still firmly planted in his eyes, in his brain. He mumbled to himself about the injustices of early mornings, brought his hands up, and started rubbing the crusty sand away. He walked into the door, said, “fuck”, and corrected his course, continuing the eye rubbing.
He reached the kitchen, his eyes now clean and red. He looked around, then flicked on the light. It stung his eyes, and he squinted. As he adjusted, he moved forward again.
First step, he thought: coffee. He opened the cupboard, found the coffee tin, and pried the plastic lid off. He scooped the coffee into the maker and turned it on.
He stared at it while it did nothing. He frowned, then realized he hadn’t added water. Taking the pot, he filled it, then poured water into the back, and the machine sprang to life. He nodded, stepped away, returned to replace the pot under the drip, then left it again.
Brandon walked to the dish cupboard and removed a bowl. He set it on the counter, then reached up for the cereal. He opened the box, turned it on its side, and shook. The squares of wheat and sugar came tumbling out, clanking in the ceramic bowl like sleigh bells on a Christmas ride. He shook too hard, and sent some of the cereal flying past the bowl onto the counter. He stopped, grimaced, and closed the box, replacing it in the cupboard. He collected the squares, and dropped them in the bowl with their compatriots.
Brandon looked at the coffee pot. It was only a quarter finished, so he walked to the fridge and took out the milk. He sat at the table, opened the milk, then got up and retrieved the bowl from the counter. Taking a spoon from the drawer, he sat back down and started pouring milk. When the cereal was sufficiently drowned, he set the milk down and started eating.
Halfway through his cereal, the coffee maker finished its job. Brandon stood, excited as he could be through the slowly lifting fog, and, leaving his cereal, went to the cupboard for a mug. He walked to the coffee maker, grabbed the pot, and poured until the mug started to overflow. Coming out of a daze, he put the pot back and bent down to sip at the lip of the mug. When it was low enough to carry, he put it over with his cereal, then grabbed a cloth to clean up the mess.
Sitting back at the table, Brandon lifted his spoon. The cereal was soggy now, falling apart in his mouth, but it was fine; he preferred it like that, rather than the crunch it had before.
He finished his cereal, took another sip of coffee, then used some of his cereal milk to sweeten the caffeine. He stared out the kitchen window, waiting for sleep to throw off its shackles.