A clatter startled me awake just before dawn. Some sounds cannot be mistaken for anything but what they are. I lay in the dark thinking about getting out of bed in a few hours’ time, fumbling for my glasses, grunting as I groped around the floor.
I can make my way across my tiny house near-blind, uncorrected. If necessary, I can light the propane, fill the kettle, see to my morning needs, until my body wakes enough to bend without swaying. My brain will eventually remember its job, while muscle memory takes care of the critical demands on rising. But I prefer to have those little frames on my nose, especially knowing, as I have recently learned, how inadequately they meet my current needs.
Eventually, I fell back to sleep. A dreamless hour later, the first light of the Delta dawn seeped in through the transom. Birds began their reveille. I let my hand fall, scooted my fingers across the smooth surface of the laminate flooring, and felt the cool metal of my spectacles. Gotcha.
I pulled my twisted body from bed and padded silently across the floor. I poured water from the Britta into the enamel kettle. As I waited for it to boil, I stood in the open doorway listening to the sounds of morning. No particular thought came to mind, except, perhaps, a deep sense of gratitude that I had survived to see another day; that my eyes, however tired, could behold the delicate flowers on my cactus; and that my heart, however broken, however erratic, still continues to beat.
It’s the second day of the sixty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.