It all begins at about 6am. It’s gone this way for years, now, with few variations.
1. Wake. Blink. Consider previous day: Was exercise executed? Were healthful comestibles consumed in sane quantities? Was enough work done to avoid panic immediately upon the opening of the eyes? If the answer is “yes” to at least 2 out of 3 of these status questions, optimism is available.
2. Look left. Consider sleeping man. Kiss sleeping man’s shoulder. Sigh with contentment.
3. Rise. Pad into kitchen. Fill kettle. Put kettle on stove. Activate burner.
4. Enter bathroom. Perform noncommittal morning ablutions. Mostly just look in mirror and make faces. Consider birthday next month.
5. Cross back through kitchen. Eye kettle. Prepare tea tray with honey, milk, spoon, mug Rebecca made for me in her pottery class that I love more than life itself, cloth napkin, French press with tea in it. Consider a) cutting back on the tea; b) loving the mug slightly less because it’s a mug for heaven’s sake.
6. Feel generally anxious about day.
7. While waiting for water to boil, flop on couch and pick up something to read. Read a little bit of it before the kettle whistles.
8. Bolt up, leap in three bounds to the kettle to flip the lid so it doesn’t wake Yuri. Pour water into French press. Take tea tray into living room. Set on coffee table. Consider the hurt feelings of the tea tray: coffee gets a whole table.
9. Drink tea and write or read for a good hour. Toward the end of the hour, feel more anxious about day but internally struggle with need to have a few more minutes. Consider taking a short, post-tea nap with sleeping man.
10. Say, “Alllllright” to no one. Get dressed.