Artist in Residence 34: A day in the life

Someday soon I might find the right words to think about other things. Until then… stuff like this comes out.

 

Bear with me.

 

Or scroll by.

 

 

A Day in the Life

9 AM
Cats want breakfas. Drag self out of bed.
Debate whether or not I woke up with a headache.
Feed cats. Make sure they have water.
Fifteen hours left to fill.

10 AM
Put the recycling together, take it out to kerbside.
Clean litter boxes, put in trash bag,
take out the garbage to the bin. Drag to kerbside.
Come in, wash hands. Consider breakfast. Decline.
Make first cup of coffee.
Fourteen hours left to fill.

11AM
Consider putting heat on (it’s Fall). Decide against it –
the sun is out, it feels extravagant.
Share a weird Facebook post with anyone who might be reading.
Thirteen hours left to fill.

12 PM
There’s an email that needs answering. Begin that.
There’s an interview that needs doing. Begin that.
Finish nothing.
Twelve hours left to fill.

1PM
Leaves are falling. Remember how we used to talk about shuffling through them.
Together. A thing shared.
Watch leaves falling, alone, for a while.
Hypnotic.
THink about the symbolism of letting go.
Eleven hours left to fill.

2 PM
Consider going for a walk, but hip hurts today.
I’ve abandoned ideas for less.
Think about a couple of bills I wrote checks for yesterday
can’t find the envelopes. Did I mail them already?
can’t remember.
Ten hours left to fill.

3PM
More coffee. Back to Facebook, and checking things out
on the rest of the internet.
Try again with the interview. Don’t finish. First have to find
something interesting to talk about.
Remember some random thing about last year.
Cry quietly.
Nine hours left to fill.

4PM
Watch squirrels chase each other outside.
This morning there was one at the kitchen window,
looking in hopefully. THought about feeding it.
Didn’t quite make it there. Remember this.
Consider going out to feed them now.
Let the thought slide away.
Keep watching the squirrels play.
Eight hours left to fill.

5PM
This is about the time HE usually said,
‘Oops, I’d better do something about supper’.
Consider the idea. Think about alternatives.
Pizza? Perhaps… I’ll just have mac & cheese.
I know I am not eating right.
At least I had spinach two days ago.
Seven hours left to fill.

6PM
Throw together some pasta, eat in front of the TV.
For God’s sake, I am watching ;Baywatch’.
There is no hope. (but at least it isn’t something
we both loved. It doesn’t trigger me. And the drama
is so transparently fake that it is easy to bear.)
Six hours left to fill.

7PM
The days are definitely shorter. It’s getting darker.
‘Baywatch’ still on TV (double episode). Mindlessly playing cards
while those moving pictures move –
laying out a patience – asking it a question –
‘will I be OK?’ – the cards deny it.
Five hours left to fill.

8PM
Full dark outside.
TV switches to Star Trek TOS. I know
most of these episodes by heart. I can
mouth the dialogue as it is spoken.
This takes up space in my head.
Knitting a scarf in progress; pick up the knitting.
It helps if hands are busy.
Cats asleep beside me.
Silence, other than for the echo of the familiar dialogue.
Four hours left to fill.

9PM
TV switches to Star Trek TNG. Keep watching.
Keep knitting. The cats are still sleeping.
Wake them and shed them, to make myself some tea,
the kind that might help me sleep later. Eventually.
It has chamomile in it. And some other stuff that is supposed to bring sleep.
Eventually.
Three hours left to fill.

10PM
TV now on Star Trek DS9. Again, I’ve seen all of these episodes.
But I am still sitting here, still knitting the scarf. It has lengthened.
At least there is that.
At some point I get up in a surge of guilt and energy
and go back to the computer to see if anything important
has happened.
Nothing new. Other people’s lives continue.
I look at my reflection in the window beside me
and wonder about my own.
Two hours left to fill.

11PM
The silence is absolute. TV’d out.
Don’t want to knit any more.
Give cats an evening snack.
Consider an aspirin (hip hurts. head hurts. heart hurts.)
Take one. Have misgivings. Too late.
One hour left to fill.

12AM
Go to bed. Get up once because fire alarm is chirping.
Take battery out. Have to deal with that in the morning. Maybe.
Try to read for a while
Maybe it’s the book. I can’t keep my focus.
Switch off the light and say, though you can’t hear me,
‘Good Night, I love you’
like I’ve done every night for twenty years spent with you.
Silence responds. Silence remains.

It’s past midnight, and I lie in the dark
awake
on the bedside clock the hours drift by.

1AM
2AM
3AM

At some point I’ll close my eyes and pass out
maybe dream strange dreams
the kind I used to tell you about
in the mornings
when you brought in my coffee
and a piece fo chocolate tucked into an old saved pocket for a teabag,
against melting in your hand.
In the mornings
which are gone.
Empty of you.
One is coming again, soon.

8AM, I am awake.
9AM, cats want breakfast.

Another day to fill.

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About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (www.AlmaAlexander.org), her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlmaAlexander/), on Twitter (https://twitter.com/AlmaAlexander) or at her Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/AlmaAlexander)

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Artist in Residence 34: A day in the life — 2 Comments

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