Above the broken slats of the wooden blind, I can see a whisper of pale blue sky shot through with silver clouds. Looks like rain, I tell myself, out loud, with my unused voice.
The neighbor’s dog emits three barks in her deep tones. Further toward the street, our old Beagle-Lab sends her insistent high yap into the street and I think, not for the first time, that I am lucky the new guy next door likes her.
A fog clings to my brain. The worst problem with sleep disruption is not the level of fatigue but the slowness of my thought and the lack of coordination as i stumble through the morning. In order to secure a handicapped spot near the courthouse, I have to leave in an hour but I can barely walk, much less drive or even trust myself to stand in the shower. Luckily my lily-white spastic hands can find their clumsy way across the keyboard.
But I’m not complaining. Eventually the synapses will bear the weight of the matter which needs to fly across them in its broken pattern. I understand the rhythm of my body, in all its jittery dissonance. I’ll get the rings on my fingers, sort out the mass of curly hair falling in my eyes, and find shoes in which I can stand and move across the floor. By the time I pull out of the driveway, I’ll look as much like a lawyer as I ever do and my smile will flash at the neighbors walking their own dogs before they leave for their own jobs. I’ll make my solitary way through the city.
I hope to get out of the house in time to grab a coffee on the way downtown. The college kid at the Unbakery will ask if I want a gluten-free scone and I’ll make my usual joke about not tempting me with the carbs. I’ll go out the wrong way because they put the exit on the left side for reasons I still don’t understand. I’ll have the same thought about not getting hit; then I’ll turn into the morning sun rising in the east, casting its light over the grimy streets of my neighborhood.
I’ll shake my head as I drive down Troost, wondering why no one realizes how easy it is navigate the wide boulevard. I’ll think for the thousandth time that it is unfortunate that the street carries such a stigma. As I make the wide turn past the Health Department, I’ll look to the right and wonder, yet again, who lives in all the new buildings that have appeared along that stretch. At that moment, as I crest the hill, the city will lay before me. I’ll gasp at its clean lines and modern beauty. I hardly recognize the place sometimes, yet I call it home. I hide within its concrete, safe, unmolested, secure, alone and yet, almost never lonely.
It’s the seventh day of the forty-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.