The newspaper shuffled gently against itself as Michael folded it in half, then in half again. His kitchen smelled like hazelnut and muffins. Saturday was his “finer things” day and he never wasted a second of it. He would always get up at that perfect moment - when you don’t feel oppressed by the earliness but the air outside is still crisp. He would take extra time on his morning routine, as he imagined modern royalty or movie stars might, combing his hair and choosing his shoes. He looked himself over in the mirror while his coffee brewed and his muffin toasted. Then he’d eat slowly, reading a real newspaper, instead of the usual e-articles on his iPad. After all, it was finer things day.
After breakfast he’d walk. He’d choose a new section of the neighborhood each time; the new scenery and current world events trolling casually around his mind. He’d imagine that the stocks he’d read about going up or down were his. He’d imagine he owned the old stone house on the right; He thought about raising a hypothetical two year old, and wondered what the air smelled like during a riot in Egypt all full of dust and smoke and passion.
For lunch he’d stop to talk to Tom at the deli and get a cold sandwich and Elderflower presse’, then practice the “finer thing” that he’d chosen to improve in himself that week: art, music, etc.
But the absolutely finest part of the day was the evening. He and his closest friends would gather at one of their flats (tonight it was his). Charles and Rachel he’d met at school, Tim from charity work, and Anderson was a neighbor. They’d try new wines, listen to new music, and talk. The rule was that the meeting couldn’t go beyond midnight, but tonight they all forgot the clock. Tonight was bittersweet because on Monday Michael was leaving. The term was up along with his visa and while the times he’d gone abroad had enriched his education, they had also scattered his dearest friends across the globe. But for tonight, they had their custom; tonight he sipped his wine.