Sunday, October 05, 2008

Time to Walk

Dawn just beginning to break. No hint yet of birds. Kiki comes to delicately inquire about breakfast. I'm not the usual person to feed her, but I'm sitting here at Martha's place. Perhaps?

But no. I'm tip-tapping away at a keyboard, as usual. After an expectant pause, there is the sound of crunching behind me. A little dry cat food. Then she vanishes, off to make her early morning rounds, whatever they may be.

No sound of birds yet. Put my coffee back in the microwave. So many habits I'll have to establish, if I'm to eat breakfast at home.

Thoughts crowd me, that never crowd me at Tosi's. I should clean the kitchen. I really should establish a weekly routine, everyone cleaning the kitchen once a day, and make it happen. I should have done it fifteen years ago, for that matter, rather than have vanished from the squalor every day. I need to get those SOAPs off to that insurance company. I ought to get my room set up for writing. I should paint it, too. And speaking of painting, both porches, front and back, really need to be not just painted, but rebuilt. What would that cost, I wonder? A lot of money we don't have. Will the economy improve if we elect Obama, or is it too late? Probably too late, I reflect. Several good years of recession, no matter what. We should never have incurred this debt on the house. Why did I let that happen? I used to make good money.

Well. So that's why I always eat breakfast out, so that I'll have lofty thoughts about Buddhism and literature in the morning, rather than this long depressing mumble about the home front, laced with recrimination. Let Martha do the long depressing mumble.

No. Not content with that any more. The changes I invoked, I have to deal with.

There is a lightening in the sky, just enough to make the silhouette of the neighbor's dogwood visible. I open the door to breathe the free air a second, and to see what the sky looks like out of the direct glare of the kitchen lights. It's quite light out there, really, and the air is as fresh as if it had wandered straight here off the Pacific.

I turn off the kitchen lights. Now I can see the sky, mottled gray-blue and iron; the trees are still just black cut-outs against it. I'm reminded of the tattoo across a client's shoulders. "The trees were dark, but the sky was still blue." Proust. And leaves, just like these. What a marvelous thing to discover, on turning down the sheet. It seemed unprofessional to remark on it. It seems unprofessional to mention it on my blog. But I mean. So wonderful.

Tori comes in. "You can turn on the lights, if you like," I say, but she gets her cereal in dark, without speaking, and goes into the living room, where Ashley has been sitting quietly at her computer, all this time. It's nearly seven, though. I can't expect to have the kitchen to myself forever, not even on Sunday morning. The urge to get out is mounting, becoming irresistable. The air is calling. Three crows fly silently over the dogwood. What do I do, if I'm not going to Tosi's? Walk up & around the reservoir up on Mt Tabor?

Now the first bird, or the first one I can hear. Scrub jay. They don't usual weigh in this early. Are the other birds really silent, still? I open the door again. Someone else is peeping faintly. At the turn of the weather, though, I don't really know what to expect. In summer, when it was this light, the full chorus was going. The birds are disconcerted too, having to change their habits. They want someone to refill their coffee; they want the clink of dishes from the diner kitchen, the smell of bacon. Only the jay is awake enough to complain about it though.

The sky is almost white, now. Time to walk.

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