I didn’t sleep well last night. This happens to me whenever Dan is gone: I toss and turn and the house morphs into an echo chamber where every little movement of molecules screams through the empty space and rings in my ears. The floorboards shift and settle and the sound travels up the walls and vibrates the air around my bed. At some point in the night, I roll onto my side and fall asleep, finally, mercifully. But it’s a hazy and chaotic sleep. The characters in my dreams fade in and out like holograms, their voices screech and buzz and my dream self sits with her head between her knees to steady the twisting, twirling orbit of the dream world that surrounds her.
In the morning I wake, because someone outside, halfway down the block, is knocking on a neighbor’s door, or perhaps because the cat is whining; it’s 7 am and he wants breakfast. I shuffle down the stairs, my legs still tight from sleep, my eyes sore and bleary and the cat weaves in and out of my steps, nearly tripping me with every movement. I pick him up and hold him against my chest. He nuzzles his face against my chin and it soothes me. Then my morning progresses rapidly in a quick succession of sensory moments. Food in the cat’s bowl, it lands with a metallic ping. I let the dog outside and the morning air hits my face and I know that today will be a bit warmer and pleasant. The smell of coffee fills my nose. I listen to the steady whir of the grinder as I grind the beans. The wood floor beneath my bare feet is cold and when I turn on the heat, the walls tremble with the start of the furnace. I pour my coffee into the largest mug we own and wrap my hands around it, warming the tips of my fingers.
It is Saturday, my only day free from working. I just sit for a while, my elbows propped up on the kitchen counter, the house quietly humming with the sounds of appliances, the ticking of the clock. I sip from my oversized mug and my mind wanders.