Dawn creeps in with the stealth of a burglar. Subtle. Quiet. It almost slipped by me this morning but aye ye have to get up mighty early in the morning for that.
Woke up after a few hours deep sleep intermingled with some muddled dreams of both indeterminable origin and meaning; funny how those work. Got up, walked around the house and tried to piece together the previous 24 hours.
The packaging on the living room coffee table provides a clue to where my take-out dinner came from the night before. Piles of dried, half-folded laundry lay giving silent testimony to the moment I got my first of many calls yesterday. Still half-in-Dream Land anal retentive instinct kicks in for a brief moment and I start picking up things and putting them where they belong; a feeble attempt to straighten up the place. Better not let Mommy see the place like this. The “awake” side of my brain kicks in: “What the hell are you thinking? Fix coffee NOW!” Yes Sir!
Get as far as grinding the beans when I hear my cat outside yowling for food; she saw the light come on. She knows I’m up. Stop fixing coffee and dig out a can of cat food. Dump some into a dish, garnish it with some dried Kitty Krispies and serve it to her on the porch. Then I immediately resume fixing that coffee after stopping for a brief moment to admire a beautiful full moon lighting up my back yard.
After I fix coffee, I start a load of work clothes in the washing machine. During the summer this is the time of day it’s cool enough outside to actually turn off that money-sapping air conditioner for a few hours and open up the house. The clothes drier heats up the house somewhat so I prefer doing laundry this time of day. And hey…the coffee’s ready! Open the door to the refrigerator for my half and half.
Inside the fridge I spot a bag of leftover food from the night before, a plastic bag with some fried chicken bones and some other miscellaneous stinky trash. Toss it all into a plastic grocery bag; this stuff’s going for a little walk. The dumpster behind the apartments in the next block is my predawn destination. This will only take five minutes; cup of coffee #1 can wait that long. Grab my keys and the trash and leave.
Pad silently up the street like a cat under the very full moon in my sandals. All of the lights are off inside the other houses on the street while Kona bean coffee percolates back in my kitchen. Other than a siren way off in the distance, silence hangs heavy over the neighborhood. Round a corner, sink the sack into the dumpster like an NBA champ and keep walking in a full circle around the block without missing a beat until I spot something in the street in the moonlight. It’s a dime and a penny. And another penny. And yet another penny. And yet still another penny. And yet even still ANOTHER penny!
Pocket my newly-found loot and walk happily up the street. I love my days off and so far this is turning out to be the start of a good one. An almost-full (or partially empty?) pot of fresh coffee and a couple of cinnamon raisin bagels are waiting for me back at the house. I’ve got most of my laundry done, removed some stinky trash from my house and even made fifteen cents profit on the deal.
Okay I pretty much know what you’re thinking; I know damn well what fifteen cents actually buys these days which is tax on one item at the dollar store but I awoke this morning on my own bed with new all-cotton sheets and new pillows instead of a jail bunk. I’m laying on my futon this morning watching the Three Stooges on AMC instead laying on the coroners slab. It’s a mighty small victory indeed. But I’ll take it.