He woke to strange surroundings. It was bright daylight. A slight rocking. A canopy of trees.

The hammock. In the backyard. Sunday afternoon. John had his bearings.

Was this his actual life? It was hard to fathom. John squinted at the narrow swords of sunlight, reaching through the leaves and branches above.

The thin membrane of his existence that had been his only reality for three decades was thickening, hardening. That constant sense of unfamiliarity and tenuousness was gone. The new jobs were going well; his clients were impressed and paid him well. The new house was a significant improvement over the dump he’d left, with the three crazy housemates, an old drunk, a hyperactive Estonian young woman on a work visa, and his ex, not a recent ex but an ex from fifteen years ago—she was a drunk, too.

He had not so much stepped into this new life but leapt up to it. Without a net. “Leap, and the net will appear,” someone had said, and it was true enough, John realized, with a confident smile from a hammock on a lazy Sunday afternoon.