The coffee had been made in semi-darkness and it was impossible to tell if it had been done right. She was back in bed somewhere snoring away presumably. He was trying not to bang into things as his eyes were not properly in focus yet. His mind drifting back to the previous night when he had been catting about and ended up in a classic old hardware store that had a small model section. That was something that they all copped to. Despite being old enough to have post-toddlers each of them still had an affinity with toys. The box art versus the multiplicity of pieces affixed in a crazy quilt fashion on plastic trees inspired a strange attractiveness. Not like the adolescent attraction once experienced to their cousin’ burgeoning boobies but something more fundamental and lasting. Their ‘Rosebud’ being something shiny and in pieces that they were tasked to complete. He bumped past the edge of the hallway closet on the way to the commode. No sign of snoring yet. What time did she get up? Six? Six-thirty? Funny how she counted upon him for such tiny trivial things. He was an early riser and she was not. Habits being hard to break. He stood with his legs solidly planted on either side of his porcelain conveyance trying to remember the dream that he had just left. Every other thought a PSA to carefully adjust the azimuth and vertical orientation to not splash over the bowl. That was another point of contention between them. Women wanted things just so. A perfect world if you will where both parties responded in kind to the call of yet another shitty little ass needing to be re-diapered and swabbed. He could just imagine how few times the malevolent looking black ladies who had run his nursery had changed his own. Of course, he could only recall that two of them were there at one place his mom had taken both he and his brother for a while before they had landed back without their grandmother after she had recovered from the operation. The thought of it made still made him feel inexplicably nervous. No the ream of the previous evening was a better exercise in recollection. Let’s see where was I he said with his eyes tight and the pressure of his body liquor being gratefully drained.
The three of them in a hardware store! That was right. Her was bragging to his two best companions that he knew a place where the plastic model kids were beyond cool. A place not far away maybe a block. He was of course doing his best to impress. Something? A strange phenomena when guys got together that each needed to express like the imaginary length of their dicks? Except of course this wasn’t so weird but more fun. Misdirection being what is was, he escorted them out the front door of the hardware store in anticipation of a circuitous route to this most immediate Mecca. The alley bordering the establishment that they had just exited being just north but there was a bar half way down. The though accelerated and he recalled that the attempts of the three to proceed further had not gone further than that alley. The dream had shunted to another episode almost like some invisible switchman had pulled a lever. Now there was the small Harley that he had forgotten was in his section of the garage that he had bought but hadn’t ridden for over a year? The coffee machine gurgled horribly in that usual customary throaty manner signaling that its laborious interaction between water and heated coils had come to the final parting. one more squirt on his short end and he would find the phone? No snoring still? The light from the windows out in the hall had risen to legibility as he staggered more for effect than physical necessity. Boy was he tired he replied to the unspoken question that piqued his conscious mind. He’d rather be on his side now under the covers to see a more continuous solution to the pieces of a dream that he had been left with. Little fragments that like dry ice smoked away as they disappeared so rapidly before you. Kind of like the money in your wallet. Whatever you would start out with the reservoir of your billfold was emptied by morning next and the bank account would have to be emptied a little more before its monthly replenishment. She was still nagging him to use a card instead of cash. But that is why she was always broke! Especially at the holidays when it was invariable that she would ask to borrow a few and of course never pay him back! Ah women. The coffee was weak this morning. He had let the pot fill up too much. Or was he just being a miser with the spoonfuls of coffee from the cardboard container? Ah it didn’t matter! It was hot.
What time was it now? She had said six? Or six-thirty? he took a gulp from his mug. Ah the coffee wasn’t that bad! He could taste its flavor. He could feel some sweet tingle in his gums. A low rumble issued from somewhere distant. The airport? No his stomach. The coffee needed some accompaniment. Toast. Maybe a couple of eggs. But no, it was too early for that. Just toast. He waddled back into the kitchen to the freezer and cozied out plastic package with the remnants of a few pieces of bread within. Another ‘man’ chore! He could still recall without trying how his breakfast would magically appear at grandma’s. His own mother usually frantic and running about trying to prepare for work and get there on time because she had tried to get a few extra minutes of lazing in bed. Women took so much longer then men to get ready? Another side benefit of any relationship. You could sneak back under the covers, if you dared. As long as you had that sixth sense that could tell when they were exiting the bathroom and you would be magically on you feet again having dragged on your shirt and pants ready to drive them to the station without a moment’s delay. he had left his old job and due to the fact that she at that point was making more money in her career, they had both decided that he would take care of the kids. He inserted the butter betwixt the stacked toast to let it melt and took another sip of coffee. Those were good times after all. The electric joy felt of your son tight in your arms nestling in on your shoulder sleepy eyed. Now of course the two of them were too old. In high school and like all adolescents far beyond that bounteous stage of preadolescent affection that they had shown as toddlers. Where was the jelly he automatically phrased internally. He opened the refrigerator door and stuck his head in like a cat ferreting out a mouse for the jar. She had gotten him intuit eh habit of buying jelly not jam. And he hated the continuation of the cat and mouse routine of trying to coax out the remnants onto the pieces of buttered toast with a knife. He always ended up with more than he was willing to bargain for. The coffee had gotten cold and he hear the gruff bark of his insides loosing a little air. Once had to make concessions in a relationship. He was sure that she in turn had her own long list of petty discontents. He carried the combination of hot dry and wet to enjoy that fleeting perfect moment of a bite of sweet in counterpoint with a sip of warm and slightly bitter. The clock on the wall said five-fifty five and he waylaid the ritual in lieu of the necessity of his promise. He went back into the empty bedroom to find his phone call her at her new apartment. It was her turn with the kids and he dare not miss making the call.