You wake up to the silvery light of a November dawn and the hollow boom of the air vent as the first wave of air is sucked up into the flames of the gas furnace. You stretch under the covers, waking the cat, who also stretches, preparing to signal his desire for breakfast. The habitual anticipation of a long weekend morning is with you as you dress, sense of being the first up and ready to accomplish something. You pull on socks against the chill of the wood floor, swing out and head down the hall to the kitchen. You take up your station in front of the sink and look out the east bay window toward the garden. Juncos and sparrows are already at the feeder, and it’s almost empty already. You wonder if this is love or interference, to invite them to breakfast this way. Maybe it’s just a kind of easy art installation, the therapeutic kind you gaze at in delighted distraction–so alive, so right. Still, there was that paragraph on how bird feeders affect birds’ evolutionary trajectory. So be it. Not a problem to mimic the feasts and famines of nature, either, you not being very regular in feeding habits. The birds go away, you miss them, they survive on other things, you fill up the feeders, they come back.
You collect last night’s plates and stow them in the dishwasher–not enough yet to start a load yet. That has changed over the last year. Before it was a challenge to keep the machine running often enough, and still the counters and tables were always littered with more. When the eldest comes home, there will be three loads a day again, for a while, and you’ll try to make more effort to use the table for meals instead of just a place for mail, groceries in transit, and school work.
What was it you wanted to accomplish? Your mind scans over the possibilities. Pick the Brussels sprouts? Later when the sun comes out. Do some sewing? Too little space. Lesson planning?
You hear someone in the living room, and the t.v. clicks on. Why does that always take you by surprise? Oh yeah, we have a TV. There goes the atmosphere. It steals at all, dominates, wants not only viewers for the game, but for several hours of pre-game drama, and post-game analysis. finally the game is over, and, well, look at that–it’s another game. The seasons melt one into another and there’s never a break, except to sleep and go to work, until the power of summer weather can’t be denied. It’s not even real, you think. Not even useful, not even about admiring excellence in athleticism and strategy. It’s about viewership for selling ads. And there’s nowhere in the house you can tune out.
What can be done—what? What? Not another coffee shop—you want a place of your own.