His regular 5 AM alarm woke him and he sensed it immediately. No fog of sleepiness, no lingering dreaminess, he just knew it - fully and completely. The world was strange, stranger than normal.
He waved on the bedside lamp and dressed quickly, quietly in the clothes he’d laid out the night before, the clothes he’d laid out when the the world still seemed sane. This was the routine of his mornings. In the kitchen, coffee was already brewing and english muffins were toasted by automated appliances. In the bathroom, an epilatory laser mounted on the mirror trimmed away his facial hair with its regular precision.
“I am smoke,” he said into the mirror as he rubbed his chin and stared at his reflection. “I am smoke and wax. I melt and drip and dissipate. I disappear.”