Part two: While she slept, she whistled and cooed like a lost parakeet stuck in the depths of a Brooklyn tree. She dreamt lucidly of forest turtles and drinking giant glasses of water without the use of her hands, then awoke to the sound of a man (though it wasn’t even close to winter) singing Silent Night Holy Night. She thought of Jesus and Mary and Joseph as Africans, Mexicans, Siberians and Japanese, along with all potential translations of many redundant holiday songs.
This is how her brain worked in the morning; thoughts leapfrogged over other thoughts then pirouetted into oblivion.
Absorbing sunlight into her eyelids, she pressed her head against the window and forced herself to move.
Each day, her morning went as follows:
1. For twenty-six minutes she would do her aerobic exercises, which included rolling around the floor without the use of arms or legs. (This Amathra believed, built core strength, the most imperative section of her anatomy.) To cool down, she would clap her hands for one minute and thirty-seven seconds.
2. A slowly chewed meal consisting of fruit and nuts followed by a tall glass of goat’s milk kicked off her morning metabolism.
3. One entire reading of the classified ads in the daily newspaper gave her insight as to what people really wanted in the city.
4. With great fervor, she listened, and sang along to Neil Diamond’s Holly Holy.
After this meticulous, hour-long ritual, Amanthra dressed in nothing other than a modest white suit, filled her red sack with a fountain pen, lined pad of paper, macintosh apple, one chunk of chedder cheese, then audaciously walked out of her front door into a myriad of possibility.