The same wrinkled black T-shirt, but on a different day.

Today, Just-Call-Me-Matt has a Roy Lichtenstein painting projecting on the screen. A woman succumbs to a harsh whirlpool of waves. Her thought bubble proclaims she would rather drown than call someone named Brad for help.

“Drowning Girl. 1963. This is Roy Lichtenstein. It’s a part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It’s an example of Pop Art and utilizes a comic book theme that Lichtenstein is well known for.”

While I understand how Drowning Girl feels, I don’t want to look at her for a moment longer than necessary. Just-Call-Me-Matt tells us that Brad is standing over Drowning Girl in the original source image. I don’t want to think about her for a moment longer than necessary, either. Brad wouldn’t save her, even if she did call out. This is not boring, but there is no need to wallow in her suffering.

I create an alternate story in my head.

In my story, there is no Brad, and the maelstrom engulfs Drowning Girl. She does not challenge the waves. As she accepts them, they cradle her gently and lift her. Her eyebrows release their tension. The liquid grows dark and pulses in heartbeats, and Drowning Girl finds herself in the fur-swaddled cup. She is no longer drowning. Currents of coffee carry her around and around, and the sky moves in starry circles overhead. Eventually, she tires of her warm bath, stands up, and puts on her pink silk kimono.