Today I awakened at 5:15 a.m. because I forgot to tell my cell phone that a trial had been canceled.
Today the little brown dog whines for water and can’t get enough, even when I pour cup after cup into a large dish on the floor. I watch her eager lapping, thinking that maybe she’s onto something.
Today my hips protest each step through the house, groaning beneath my meager weight as though haunted by all the pounds that I’ve lost over the last decade.
Today a lingering dream reminds me that I’ve unfinished business in my heart, playing over and over the sight of someone scurrying away from me in a video so real it might be a digitized version of what actually happened, droning on and on in my nighttime brain.
Today the cold seeps through the old keyhole in the backdoor, and the wind buffets the high ceiling in the wood-paneled bedroom where I huddle under a thick comforter, wrapped in a shawl, clutching the covers and wondering whose soul drives the terrible force surrounding my house.
Today the scrambled eggs come out perfectly and I think about a small kitchen in Evanston in which I will soon be showing my son the technique which I have perfected over the few months, ever since a scrawny grey cook in Colorado Springs told me the secret to unctuous eggs: Love and lard.
Today I will stop on the way to work and get a chai latte, with soy milk, and a gluten-free pastry, because even perfect scrambled eggs can’t sustain a day of eager lawyering when I feel this beaten.
Today the furnace roars and reminds me that I’ve got to pay the gas bill before the house-sitter comes, and schedule a furnace check, and make sure there’s enough phenobarb to last for my entire trip out of town or the dog will start seizuring and that will be the end of that house-sitter.
Today I lift my arms over my head, close my eyes, and will my being to calm itself, to open its fifth eye or its second mind or its inner heart and receive; to let go of the old mantras which continue their unrelenting tramp at the cellular level.
Today I tell myself to believe.
Today is the twentieth day of the thirty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.