A disturbing nudge on her shoulder kicks her out of her sleep. Her longtime friend and foe is ever consistent. It’s November, and dawn has not yet shown its face. Her cold dark room reminds her of death. It is after all, the month of death. She hears a neighbour roll over in bed. The springs are probably as old as his grandfather but hardly a nuisance to hear. In fact, it’s comforting to hear the expected. There is life upstairs.
She pulls the duvet over her head and whispers her morning mantra, “Please help me be a better person and make this day slightly different…Amen.” Shuffling to the washroom, she peaks in the room at the end of the hall. Squinting, she sees her black feline sleeping soundly by the windowsill.
In the kitchen she starts the coffee. She grinds the coffee beans at night to ensure quiet in the morning. Pulling the curtain in the living room, she sees dark purple shades painted across the sky. What a gift to see this performance offering hope for a new day…yet, it’s all a lie, really. Nothing changes.
Tiptoeing to the washroom, she closes the door runs her morning bath while the coffee maker does its magic. Hot water oils her joints…sort of, at least to function, maybe enough to walk to the bus stop today. Lowering her body so her shoulders are covered in the hot steaming water, she lets out a soft groan exhaling the bad.
The last gasps of the coffee wizard announce the end of her bath.
Sitting in her mother’s old rocker, she sips her first taste of happiness leaning on two ice packs. The aroma fills the air. The ice slowly numbs the pain on her neck and lower back; the rising sun puts a smile on her parched lips. Who knows? Maybe today will be different.
For decades, she’s always told herself that pain is her friend. If she feels aches, it means she’s alive rather than paralysed and unfeeling. She has the energy to work, to love, the passion to care despite the lulls in the day or night, she still lives and feels.
Accepting her limits is the secret. Walking too far or housecleaning in one shot will force her into inaction for a day or two. On days she cannot function, she reads, writes, edits photos or binges on Netflix…always pleasures to take her mind off physical discomforts…the nagging, accusing poking of her stalker or long-time partner?
billowy shadows linger
cringing at intruders
billowy shadows linger
shift in autumn’s speed
brightening muddy paths
cooling giddy tongues
(c) Tournesol 19/11/07