Thursday, December 11, 2003

Candlelit Breakfast Day!

Strange men you bring home at 3 AM never want to wake up at 6 AM like you do. You stopped asking when you were 25.

You slip out from underneath whatever limb he left on top of you when he passed out. You put on some underwear and a shirt. You go to the kitchen and you start coffee.

Your thick white bowl always has yesterday's oatmeal stuccoed to the sides. It's cold now in the kitchen in the morning and it takes hot water and a butter knife to get it good as yesterday. You pour in today's oatmeal, close the door on the microwave, push a button. The coffee is done and your cigarette is lit and in your fingertips.

You must have sleepwalked for a bit because the next thing you remember you're sitting at your table, the cigarette in your hand in the air by your head, your face taking in the steam over the full black of the coffee cup. The Oatmeal is hot in front of you. You need to do something to make sure you're awake. You get up and get a spoon.

A few spoons of Oatmeal. A cup and a half of coffee. In the middle of your second cigarette, he wanders in. This happens sometimes.


You smile the way you smiled at 3 AM and you wave your cigarette to the coffee maker. He finds his own cup, finds his own spoon, looks for milk but finds none, the sugar is already out. He stirs, sips, sits. Across from you.

"Mm." He's not going to say a whole lot. Just some sighs and murbles and slurps.

"How you feeling?" Asked the way one asks after the recently bereaved. You nod. You smile the way you smile at 6 AM.

You haven't taken any more spoons of oatmeal and you don't plan to. He's making his way to the white of his coffee cup. There's nothing to say. No newspaper to read. No cat to watch do stuff. But there's half a candle on a candlestick holder sitting right between the two of you. You pick up your cigarette lighter and you light the wick.

Of course he's confused. You smile the way you smile when you want to allow something you did to be funny. He laughs one short hmph.

"Romantic," he says. You smile the way you never do.

He gets up with lots of grunts and goes into the bathroom. You sip your coffee. He flushes and shuffles into the bedroom. You put your finger to the surface of your oatmeal. He returns to the kitchen dressed in his clothes and overcoat and tells you he has work to go and get to. You get up.

You walk him to the door. Someone says "again." You kiss him and shut the door behind him and listen against the door to his footsteps on the stairs. Then you go back to the kitchen to sit and watch a candle burn at 6:23 AM.

Happy Candlelit Breakfast Day!