Early Morning Perspectives

Morning wakefulness eludes me.  Today is a rare exception.  I wake at 5:00 a.m. and I feel energized.  I did not have a particularly good night’s sleep, so I’m really not sure why that is.  My and DSB’s coffee morning ritual generally doesn’t start until at least 7:00 a.m., so I have two hours on my hands.  I rub my hands over my face, thinking, knowing that I should go back to bed.  There is a stubborn part of me that resists.

The world is so much different, two hours earlier in the day.  Feeling rested and alert at 5:00 in the morning is so much different.  I wonder at all I could accomplish while the rest of the house is still sleeping.  It’s really dark outside.  Even the dogs are asleep, and my neighbors haven’t started any of their annoying comings and goings yet.

I ponder, for just a moment, sending my early-rising sister a text message to see if she is up for a chat.  And then think better of it, think that it is possible my pregnant sister is still resting, sleeping in more than she is accustomed to, and perhaps, herself gazing around in wonder at how different the day is, just two hours later.

An hour passes, with me journaling and drinking large glasses of cold water, trying to rid myself of a headache.  That’s my cure.  Large glasses of cold water.  And a Tylenol.  I know the headache is from lack of sleep, but I press on.  Writing my letters that I will never send to those people that have abused me in life.  A therapy assignment.  At 5:00 in the morning.

And then it is 6:00 a.m. and I am beginning to get restless.  I know I should go back to sleep, but that stubborn part of me wants to get.things.done.  I continue on with my letters, and I long for someone to talk to.  No one I know is awake this early.  I ponder reaching out to a bloggie friend, but I don’t know if any of them are up yet, and I don’t know how to contact any of them.

I finish the letter I have been working on most recently, and the feeling of needing to talk to someone intensifies so greatly, I have a tightness in my chest and it seems the only way it can be relieved is to connect.  After all that writing, all that work, I have to connect.  I don’t want to wake DSB, and still, no one I know will be awake.  Seven o’clock cannot get here fast enough.

Then it comes and 7:00 finds DSB in rare foul humor.  He has had another sleepless night and has “a lot of shit on (my) mind.”  But he doesn’t want to talk about it, and really doesn’t want to talk at all.  I babble for a bit, but mostly we sit there, staring at each other and saying nothing.  It’s not an altogether uncomfortable feeling, but that need to connect is not being met.  Not by all of those unsaid words.  Not every coffee morning with DSB is perfect.  And, by extension, not every coffee morning with DSB is even enough.  No words is not enough.  I need words.

At 8:00, after sitting in silence for an hour, DSB announces that we need to go run some errands.  I resist, because I am not ready to get up and get dressed.  I want to finish my coffee and have another smoke, in peace.  I want to make him talk to me about what is bothering him and I want to be able to talk with  him about what is running through my mind.  Choosing battles being what it is, I compromise.  I will go, if I can finish my coffee first.

By 8:30, we’re out on the road in his big, ancient truck.  It’s loud, and I don’t mean just a little loud, I mean really loud.  And he drives it like it’s on a racetrack, squealing tires and all.  I grab the “oh-shit” handles as we fly around curves and corners, and give him a dirty look, all the while laughing, because he is laughing at me.  He starts to talk a little.

He has too much on his plate.  Too many things to do, not enough money, and not enough time.  He doesn’t feel good because he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in over a week.  He is worried.  Worried about everything and nothing all at the same time.  And he doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t want to burden me with it, because, he says, I am doing so well, and he doesn’t want that to end.

By 8:50, we’re sitting in Tractor Supply’s parking lot, waiting for them to open.  We already went to the grocery store, where I bought the essentials…orange Kool-Aid packets, French vanilla creamer, and toilet paper.  We drove past a small hardware store that DSB considered going into, but then decided against, for whatever reason.  At Tractor Supply, we watch cars come in, waiting for the doors to open.

A surprising number of cars come wait in line.  What can possibly be inside Tractor Supply that is so essential at such an early hour?  After DSB goes in, and I start seeing people coming out, I can’t help but laugh because most of them are carrying out 50 pound bags of dog food, horse pellets, chicken scratch and mash, and other edibles for animals.  That’s the emergency, the urgency…hungry animals.

When DSB comes out and gets back into the truck, he is silent again.  Out of money, again.  Frustrated, again.  This is such a vicious cycle and I am reminded at once to think of the good things, all the while wishing that DSB could feel more secure with what we do  have.

We get home, after a quick stop for gas, and I come inside to blog and he goes to the shop to work.  The plan is for me to attend to comments and reading, and then blog.  After, I am to go outside and use the riding lawn mower to pick up leaves.  Here I sit, blogging.  And outside, DSB is picking up leaves.  There goes that idea.  And the urge to connect grows stronger and stronger.

The person I most want to connect with is in foul humor and it is unlikely that will lift soon.  I called my dad and texted QoB but it still isn’t quite enough.  I will have a busy day today, and have already accomplished much before lunchtime, but I have to wonder if I will be able to feed that urge to connect today.  Somehow, I doubt it.

Coffee Mornings

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.