Saturday, January 26, 2013


Morning. The coffeemaker is bubbling happily at one elbow, an apple with two bites out of it at the other. The dishes from the bacon and eggs are washed up.

Eating at home. I'm restless, uneasy, trying to pretend it's all right, that my soul is not in peril. I'm not sure. No windows to the world. I get up and try the blinds – this window looks only onto the porch, but still, that's more outside than this – but it's still pitch black out there. That won't help. It's outsideness that I need, not my own reflection. Maybe I need to go for a walk first thing in the morning?

I return to the little table, and the coffeemaker, which is nearly done. The perking has stopped, but it's still dripping a bit. It is a friendly little machine. Black & Decker, half off at Fred Meyer: $20.00. I feel a little guilty about spending money on such a thing – which is funny, given that eating breakfast out every morning is a much more expensive and luxurious proposition. But restaurants hire young women whose job it is to make you feel like the expenditure was a good idea, and the most natural thing in the world, and they mostly succeed, with me at least. Black & Decker hasn't gone to the trouble.

Still. The little machine has already paid for itself: here I am, eating breakfast at home for the fourth time this week. I am restless, disturbed in all my habits, and anxious, as I said, for my soul. I have been telling myself, souls that eat breakfast at home do not necessarily die. But I haven't convinced myself yet.

So I will simply rest in the anxiety, until it goes away, or achieves clarity. Or until my soul dies. Whichever comes first. It's the adventure God has sent me: appropriate to the diminishing scale of my life.

Still no light outside, although it's nearly seven. This is intolerable. There. I've opened the blinds anyway, and turned off the overhead light: now at least I can see the loom of the trees against the night clouds, in the oblong bounded by the porch ceiling above, and the windowsill below. That's better.


Ryan said...

You've got a unique writing style...i think it's pretty cool. Nice blog!

Dale said...

Thanks, Ryan! Welcome.

Lucy said...

The American habit of eating breakfast out always seems to me incredibly exotic and indeed very appealing. I suppose its probably a city habit in more places, but perhaps it's not a very British thing to do, I suppose. I liked on holiday in Athens, buying one of those giant pretzel type things they sell from big baskets on the street and finding a cafe for coffee, instead of overpriced hotel breakfasts.

Perhaps you should paint a little woman on your coffee machine to introduce the human element?

Dale said...

Hee! I shall paint an obliging Lucy Kempton, pouring out my first cup of a morning :-)

marly youmans said...

Lucy's right! You need a little doll (even if it's only a little Troll doll with hair on end) to greet you at the coffee, Dale. Chatty Cathy?

Perhaps you ought to start dreaming a poem at breakfast in all that lovely solitude.

Dale said...

Almost all my writing is done at breakfast. One reason why changing how I do it is so fraught :-)