I sense the sun before I see it. I know it’s morning but I don’t want to acknowledge it, not yet. Awareness slowly seeps into me, seemingly one cell at a time. Automatically, I brace for that familiar sensation. That burn, that unbidden fire.
I realize I’m lying on my side, that side. The fire is quiet, muted, muffled. Perhaps compressed out of existence between my weight and the mattress. Oh, if only.
There is movement beside me. I don’t turn and I don’t open my eyes. I stay still. Enjoying the quiet of my body along with the quiet of the morning. Footsteps pad out of my room.
Water gushes in the kitchen; teapot hits the ceramic stove top. I wait for its piercing whistle.
Soon, a spoon clinks round and round inside a cup. From my bed and behind my closed eyes, I can see the circling swirls of cream and sugar turning that fragrant black liquid into a beige concoction.
Footsteps return to my room.
“Wake up, sleepyhead.”
I hear the clunk of the coffee mug set down on the table, near my head. The aroma is eye-opening. I inhale its scent as I carefully pull myself to a sitting position, testing, testing.
Before I can determine where it hurts, or if it hurts, a toasted bagel joins the steaming mugful.
“You all right, baby?”
How can I not be?