I fall asleep in front of the living room TV around twelve, and wake up around two or three. Wide awake, I make the habitual mistake of booting my computer. I check my e-mail, look for messages on Facebook, watch comic routines on YouTube. I fall back to sleep with my laptop at my side as I lay in bed, and I feel a bit of shame when I wake up with a dark screen beside my pillow, the battery sapped. And I wonder what played on and on while I drifted off and dreamt odd dreams.
I usually wake up between 7:30 and 8, eventually stumble to the kitchen, search for a semblance of life at the bottom of a coffee cup as I share breakfast with Judy. The day doesn’t truly begin until sometime after nine when my grogginess finally evaporates like fog in bright sunshine.
Last night I retreated to my room at quarter to twelve after listening to Stephen Colbert’s monologue, and discovered a dog under my cover sheet when I sat on the bed to take off my pants. Sedgewick had sneaked away early and found shelter for the night. Shakespeare followed me from the living room, jumped onto the bed and settled on the lower left. I turned off the light and lay on a two foot wide strip of mattress with Sedgewick folded against my spine. Shakespeare eventually lodged in the crook of my knees, which made rolling over difficult.
At four in the morning my neighbor, Joe, had his latest blow out with a roommate. (These quarterly festivities are held, inevitably, in the carport fifteen feet away from my window.) Roommate accused Joe of damaging his truck. Joe protested his innocence. Roommate said, “I thought we was brothers. But now you’re lying to me. You’re gonna pay for my truck!” Threats and accusations followed, a heavy motor rumbled to life, and roommate drove away. He returned a few minutes later, however, and the argument resumed at higher decibels. No one mentioned a gun or threatened to use one, and I didn’t hear punches landing. I decided to let it go. I only call the cops now when a threat of death and permanent damage seem imminent.
Sedgewick stirred at seven and woke me up. I heard Judy open her door and walk into the hall. The dogs stayed put, however, and didn’t chase her to the bathroom. I took a blanket and threw it over their heads to tease them, but they accepted the covering as a gift, settled beneath and fell back to sleep. I woke them up when I finished morning ablutions, and led them to the back door. I yawned and batted away mosquitos as the two sniffed, peed, and convened over signs of cat, armadillo, and raccoon incursions. The clouds hung low and gray, and we didn’t linger long.
I made scrambled eggs for Judy and me, and let Sedgewick mooch a thin shaving of cheese. We had a good conversation, I washed dishes, and then I took the two dogs for a long walk. I deposited their droppings under the Cassia bush in the front yard, washed my hands and retreated to my studio. I listened to a chapter of “A Gentleman In Moscow” as I worked on a painting entitled, “Dog Days”.
At 10:30 I browned some chicken in a pan and began to prepare lunch. We ate at 11:30, and the morning ended.