When I wake up, I feel bleary-eyed and winter gray; if ever I feel bright - alert would be more apt - it is the way the day becomes alive with the weak reflected light of a mid-January sun. I stretch, and though I’m still very young, my bones creak like black, naked trees at the beginning of February. My cats, curled up around me, and my dog at my feet are up and at the side of my bed by my head, almost patiently waiting for me to join them for breakfast.
I feed them and try to shake away my nightmares, or worse the dreams I’ll never see come true, and wander toward the fridge. It’s empty again, and I stare at the magnetic, water-damaged memo pad. When I think about how far I’ve let everything in my life slip out of control, I get nauseous and start to shake - then I remember I had very little control to begin with.
Then I’m waking up on my couch, but this time it’s dark out when I wake. How did it become 6 p.m.? A soft, short purr comes from the top of the cushion I’m pressed into and a paw reaches down to rest on my forehead. I feel hollow, but superficially sunny, as if my mustard colored, floral patterned couch pulled me in while i was asleep and let the vines and flowers grow a protective layer over me.
The couch slowly lets me go as I sit up and then stand and wet my dried, split lips; I should put chapstick on them, but I can never be bothered to locate any before I go out into the windy outdoors. I walk my dog, check my mail - bills again that I’m scared to look at.
I was raised to be able to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but the boots I wear have a zipper on the side so the laces never have to be undone. Maybe that was the real mistake I made.