A Summer Day, 2009
…I wake up. I, stagger. I rub my eyes with my left hand, and then my right. My body is sore from the restless night. I try to remember my dreams. I told myself I would remember this time. Before I get to my door, I forget. I stumble into the bathroom just as I do every morning. In the mirror I see the sleep lines littered all over my body.
A shiver creeps up my spine as I draw the bath water. I try to turn on the shower quickly. It uses less water. I wait until it gets hot before I enter. Steam begins to build as the hot water splashes the sides of the full-size shower. Under the hot water, I wake up, clean the body and brush the teeth. A haze lingers as I exit. The condensation on the mirror clouds my view.
I find clothes in the dryer. My socks don’t match as usual. I slip on my Crocs. The search for breakfast is fruitless. The cupboards are sparse. Most of the food requires milk. There is only water and coffee.
The peanut butter jar is getting low. It has become the main staple. Three big scoops a day keeps the hunger away. Can’t be good for the heart. Peanuts are supposed to be the least healthy nut.
Not sure of how many layers today will require. A blue sky day can be fooling up here. The trees sway. It’s windy, again. Too many layers equal sweat. Sweat freezes and equals cold. Not enough layers also means cold. Sometimes it’s a delicate balance.
The wind is ever constant. Up here we refer to it as Boreas. The Norse god of wind. Sometimes it whispers softly, inviting a soft sensation on the skin. Other times it yells, shaking houses and buildings.
I tie my boots and put on gloves. Grab the coat and check for essentials. I put up the hood and slide on the sunglasses. I lock the door behind me. The wind comes from the right, so I put it on my back and walk away from my home.
The neighborhood is new. The houses do not fit in with the local architecture. They look similar and yet none of them are the same. The dogs next door bark at me like usual. Two lab mutts that are always tied to a chain when they are outside. I feel sorry for those dogs. They need to go on walks.
My headphones play some rock n’ roll and I air drum out of the neighborhood. I do not have very far to go. The main road through town is only a hundred feet. It is a major highway through the state as well as a civil defense route. Frequent traffic is great for someone like me.
I look left, right, then left again and cross the road. I look south, smile and stick out my thumb. In the distance, there is a line of cars. If I get lucky one of these cars will give me a ride. If I’m not so lucky I wait.
Not even three minutes and a truck stops. I open the door and confirm his destination. I move a pile of plaques off his passenger seat, push his rifle to the side and jump up into the truck. I set my bag on the floor between my legs, close the door, buckle up and introduce myself.
The price of a ride is a conversation. Twenty to thirty minutes of bullshitting about this and that. We depart with pleasantries and go our separate ways. The day is long and there is much to do.
I return home the same way I left. I walk to the edge of town, face the traffic that is going the direction I want to go and stick out my right thumb. It takes longer for a car to stop on this side of the pass. Two cars stop before I find one traveling through my town. We talk the whole drive.
I make the short walk into the neighborhood. I remove my wallet and open the house door with the attached key. It smells funny. The dog and cat greet me at the door. I put out my hands to keep the dog from jumping up. He is excited to see me return. I put him outside in the backyard.
The smell is dog poop. There is a pile on the kitchen tile. It is cold and solid. No paper towels or tissue to be found. I pick up a grocery store flyer and scoop the mess. The sponge finishes the cleanup very nicely.
I let the dog back inside. I give him love and praise and rub his belly as he squirms around on his back like a worm. He makes me smile. Dogs truly are man’s best friend. After some time he settles and I cover him with a blanket. He gets so cold.
Satellite T.V. Hundreds of channels and nothing desirable on to watch. The T.V. is off as quick as it is powered on. I set down the remote and turn to the cupboards. Same as this morning. I settle on finding a spoon.
The dishes pile up in the sink. I hate dishes. I replace the sponge with a new one from underneath the sink. A nice wipe down and into the dishwasher. I rearrange the configuration until I get every last dirty dish to fit. I push Pot Scrubber then No Heat Dry and set the delay for one hour.
The cat throws his fit just before six o’clock. Must be feeding time. Things begin to get knocked over and taken off of tables. It is like this almost every day. But like that furry little gremlin, he is hard to not love. He begins eating before the food ever hits the feeding bowl. Pig.
The sun goes down behind the trees. The house gets cold quickly at night. Time to crawl into bed. I close my eyes. The little lynx point falls asleep on my face, again…