She wakes up and sees he’s still sleeping. The sun peeks through the crack in the curtain. It’s what woke her up. It always wakes her up. She misses winter and its late sunrise and birds too cold to sing. He’s still sleeping. The black cat sleeps snuggled into the crook of his torso, content and safe. She wishes she could feel that way.
She rises and shimmies into her chemise and out of the bedroom intent on coffee, her early morning friend. The clouds are out accompanied by a slight breeze. On the way to the kitchen, she opens all the windows. The sleepy mugginess of night drips out the windows as the coffee drips into her cup. The cats join her, rubbing against her legs, twisting in and out in what she is sure is a complicated ritual of adoration and affection. The black one is especially loving as if making up for the night time betrayal. The guilt must be overwhelming as she allows herself to be picked up and snuggled.
Coffee in hand, cats crunching in the kitchen, she walks into her study and turns on her machine, her life line to the outside world. Their relationship is close, complicated, filled with expectations and disappointments, function and dysfunction. Today as if sensing her frustration limit, it works, starting up fast and easy.
She clicks the iTunes icon, puts on her headphones and clicks her favourite early morning playlist, the one she keeps to herself. One she is particularly proud of, having arranged the music according to a very specific theme, each song leading logically, poetically, cryptically into the next; art imitating life as if the songs hold her hopes and her disappointments and her secrets. She would like to think she complicated, but she knows she’s not. She is not a unique snow flake and anyone who took the time to look at the actual playlist would figure her out in a moment. But no one will, her secrets are safe.
She opens her e-mail and Firefox at the same time. She doesn’t know why. She has never liked e-mail as a form of communication. It’s too one-sided, too much like talking to a wall. She is so filled with thoughts and a desire to see faces and bodies, hands in movement, faces in thought, bodies at various degrees of openness. She longs to have immediate gratification to questions that keep popping up in her mind. Her e-mails tend to be a long list of questions that only get half answered in words on a screen and not in physical language; the multi-dimensional communication is what she misses. It’s how she speaks and how she listens, with her ears, her eyes, with her hands, with her head and with her heart. Mostly.
She connects to her hometown newspaper to see what has happened in the night. Not much. She clicks over to the obituaries to see what kind of day it’s going to be. It’s morbid to decide one’s day on who died the day before in a city half a world away. It helps her though, it keeps her grounded. Most are of people over 75 and most of those are over 80. A good day. People who have had long lives, lives where they lived each day to make it good or bad. Time to repair the damage or build strong connections. She loves to read the ones with tons of loving family, but when each member of the 100 member extended family is listed, it leaves a bad taste in her mouth. There are levels of grief and she doubts the 2 month old great grandchild feels anything other than gas when overfed at the service. Virginia seemed like a neat lady.
She doesn’t want the real details of Virginia’s life. It might be that Virginia preferred her orchids to kids or that she made delicious meals that wafted through the house, watering the mouths of all those lucky enough to be within range only to throw the entire thing out after one bite to ensure she got the recipe right, sharing nothing but longing with anyone. She has known people like that. But in obituaries, the clues to how one lived one’s life are more subtle and nothing is ever set in stone.
After the obituaries, she checks e-mail. Not sure if her erection is functional, Al offers her help to please the ladies. If only All knew that erections are not necessarily what pleases the ladies. Sure, they’re a good thing, but she thinks if Virginia could talk, she’d probably say erections were low on her list, or perhaps not.
The phone rings and he wakes up ready for his day. Her solitude broken, she starts his day.