(Vignettes of Family Life)
(Come Sit with Us Awhile)
(At Home with the Motts)
I’m feeling a bit older this morning, unsurprising in light of the milestone that passed yesterday (thank you, one and all, for the birthday wishes; they put a lopsided grin on this old man's face), and also a mite crotchety. (No, I do not have mites in my crotch.) I have found that an antidote to this state of affairs is to do a bit of self-examination and observation. Here is a rare and intimate look into our ordinary life.
It’s early; we got a good sleep during the night, but on this day we are both awake around 6 a.m. After our waking-up routines (draining the dregs of the coffee and tea in our cups and lighting that first cigarette of the day) we begin to get active. Bonnie settles in at her command center (the couch) and I stay in bed awhile, waiting for my legs to recognize that they will be required to function for at least one more day. Finally giving in to the importunities of a dry and scratchy throat, I reluctantly rise and shuffle up the hall, peering into my coffee cup at an extremely disconsolate-looking slice of lemon (one of my idiosyncracies consists of drinking tea from a coffee cup.)
Reaching the kitchen, I navigate toward the tap, still searching for meaning in the remains of that sorry-looking lemon butt. Finding none, I upend the cup, allowing the slice to drop into the grounds bucket, its final, ignominious resting place. I am at this point running on autopilot, so I remove the small wad of paper towel blocking the drain (we have had the water on trickle these last few days due to the low temperatures, and we both detest the sound of the resultant gurgle) and begin to fill the cup with water.
(Conversation will be rendered in emerald for Bonnie, and amethyst for myself)
"I made coffee."
"Oh, thank you, hon."
The cup is now full. I pause by the refrigerator, reach up and snag a teabag from the box. (I DID see the coffee on the way to the sink. It just didn’t really register.) The bag goes into the cup, the cup goes into the microwave.
"Did you hear me, hon? I made coffee."
"Yes, thanks. I’ll have some after I finish the tea. I’m not awake yet."
Bee. Bee. Beeeeeeeeeee.
"Oh, it’s time for your pills. Did you want some cold milk to go with them, or are you going to take them with that hot tea?"
"Cold milk, please. This tea is a little TOO hot."
"Wow. I can really tell the difference between the Upstate milk and Wegmans milk."
"Which do you like better?"
"Oh, the Upstate milk, of course, but it is $.60 more than Wegmans’ milk, and Wegmans’ milk is quite acceptable."
"Upstate Farms has happy cows."(If you haven’t seen the commercials put out by the California Cheese Association, you probably won’t know to what this refers.)
"Yeah, they must. The only milk I really don’t care for is Tops’ milk, when it has that musty flavor."
"Tops has unhappy cows."
"Yeah, well, why should their cows be any different than their cashiers?"
Aren’t you glad you don’t live with us?
Bonnie and Walt