Watered Down Black Coffee

I do not wake-up early.

I need 7 and a half hours of sleep to function. My goal is always 8, though I never quite make it. Isn’t that what they tell us we need for health, vitality, to live, not forever, but longer than those who don’t?

Most nights I drag myself to bed at the stroke of midnight and my alarm sounds most mornings @ 8:30 AM. Yes, I know that is eight and a half hours, but I set it for such because it sometimes takes me a while to drop into that sleepy slumber of peace.

My mind doesn’t always stop.

I worry about my child’s well-being, as many parents do.

I relive my day. I plan for the next.

I listen for strange sounds in the dark. There are more these days for the little furry void that we have brought into our lives gets hyper just as I saunter, slide, slink, sleepy to my quilted abode. I stop and play for a moment then leave them to their paper bag which despite my closed door and low fan, I can still hear. Ah, our little Baphomet-kitty, you shall be fixed bright and early in the morn! By then I’m slithering into bed at midnight thirty.

As I lie there, I wrestle with the stories that want to invade, because if I let them, a good idea will be lost forever. This has happened too many times. A mixed maze of meandering plot, a critical conversation between characters, a descriptive diorama of beautiful display… All for naught! if I don’t pull myself out of the sweet space between wakefulness and dream, turn on the too bright of invasive light to jot down the crucial moments of creative display playing in my mind.

I’ll remember in the morning – I have said to myself dozenanddozens, perhaps hundreds of times. Only to wake-up, roll over, pull the silken, black eye cover from my face, kick off the damp cotton sheets, pop my thyroid, adrenal, whatchamacallit, pre-menopausal hormone therapy supplements, slam down the first 16 oz of water to rehydrate after yet another sweaty slumber. Pad to the bathroom to youknowwhat, and brush my teeth, standing on my tiptoes because I learned in yoga school that it keeps our feet and knees healthy and… wait… whatwasthat I was thinking before drifting into dark dreamscape? Who said what to whom? Which poetic platitude probed my peace?

And so on.

That is the reason I don’t let myself follow ideas to their finality as I drift; dodging, ducking, serpentine-serpentine, story ideas, thisiswhatIget for taking a B complex before bed, and finally… aaaasweetsimplesleep.

I used to sit up to jot down those notes but these days, I just want to go to sleep gawddammit or I will be worthless in the morning. And the morning comes quick, six and a half hours later a beautiful violin solo sings on my phone. 7:30 AM, time to wake-up the child who is far too cranky when they are used to sleeping until noon. We leave 10 minutes after 8:00 because our furry little friend was wary of the pet carrier, all plastic and metal cage door; smelling of rabbit and musty storage space. Even the squeaky toy thrown in isn’t enough to make him enter. There is no stopping for an almond milk latte, or a microwaved croissant sandwich that for some reason I only crave when I get up earlier than usual.

Traffic is heavier on the way back and I just want to get home rather than sit in line at the drive-thru coffee shop. So when we arrive, I turn on the kettle and brew a Guatemalan blend in a French press. My first cup gets the sweet monk fruit and the heavy whipping cream. The second, which I don’t normally have, is the gritty, grimy remnants from the bottom of the brew watered down because I like it strong when sweet and creamy but black coffee I like watered down.

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