Early morning, still dark outside. Slightly chilly, as we turn the heat down overnight. My head is congested and still sleepy from nine hours worth of humid CPAP air. I’m slowly waking up, coughing as I light up my first cigarette of the day. Within moments of that cough, I get the old predictable text message:
“Coffee on, hon?”
Even though he’s just in the other room, lying awake, it is always my duty to make that first pot. I don’t begrudge him that, even though I could. The way I look at it, chances are he didn’t sleep worth a damn, and it just makes it all the more special when he makes the first post on that rare occasion.
I finish that first cigarette and stumble, foggy-headed, to brew the first pot. It’s a ritual and I take some comfort in knowing what the grounds and the water will create: a special liquid that bonds DSB and I tighter and closer every morning. Coffee-time is our everyday time together. Some of our best moments are before 8:00 a.m.
Nine minutes later, the coffeepot is gurgling loudly, signaling DSB from the back rooms of the house to come to the dining room. He shuffles in, hitching up his jeans and smiling at me. Every morning, “Oh look! You made me coffee!” And every morning I smile back at him, saying, “Well, someone had to…might as well have been me.” Every morning, like clockwork, like something that could stand the test of time.
We settle, with our Folgers and French vanilla creamer, into the comfy green rolling dining chairs. We scoot around until we are directly across from each other, and DSB teases me with the third chair, offering it so I can put my feet up, with me pushing it back at him and telling him to let it sit, for our dog, Kizzie.
With our dogs, Rascal and Kizzie, running in and out of the doggie door, barking at the neighbors leaving for work, barking at the trash truck and the school bus, we are in the best seats for the show. We put our everyday questions out there: “How did you sleep?” and “What’s on your plate today?” come first and foremost. I usually have a dream to tell him about, and he usually tells me that he heard me up four times the night before, using the restroom.
We talk about our plans…for the hour, the day, the week, our life. We dream big and smile, laugh, and joke. DSB gives me static and makes blonde jokes, telling me that if he didn’t give me a hard time, I’d think he’d fallen out of love with me. That’s probably true. We laugh until we’re wide awake, ready to take on the day. With a kiss and a hug, we go off to our separate missions, confident it will be a good day because of how it started.