2021 began with a migraine.

The familiar knifing of my brain did not let me sleep through the end of Twenty-Twenty. It had tainted every waking moment of the past few days, and now it greeted my morning as if nothing had changed. But things should change — with all hopes having converged toward this new year. It must be a break from a year of stagnated frustration and depleted mirroring of each day with itself. It simply has to. A migraine then.

The clock showed something past eleven. Almost half of the day was already gone without even an insignificant deviation from my past days of Twenty-twenty. Suit yourself. The coffee tasted like custom. The air remained flat, without tension or expectation. I routined the belated morning until my gaze met the lower shelf in my bathroom. A collection of bottles that looked like a carried over relict from some of my lifes past. Chanel. Penhagalion. Tom Ford. Prada. Versace. Amouage. I may have ever mustered the discipline to look like a fashionista, but I sure as hell knew how to smell like one.

There was no hesitation. I knew which bottle to pick. Its deep blue color betrayed the tempered spice it released onto my skin. It must have been the most old-school perfume released this past decade. It spoke of decadence.
I was never modest about the use of perfume. My migraine stood indecisive between bitter sensory aggravation and being drowned out in narcotic repose. I dressed.

Perhaps this year had started different after all.