Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Self-Portrait in Third Person

She falls asleep with good intentions.

She pulls the fluffy duvet to her nose, snuggles deep into the warm embrace of her bed, scoots her icy feet under her husband's leg, and hears his resigned sigh, As her mind drifts, just before her thoughts unravel into nonsensical dreams, she thinks: I'll wake up early. I'll fix a bowl of oatmeal. Actually have time to curl my hair. To drink my coffee. Maybe even read a page or two. Yes, that's what I'll do--

Only to abandon those good intentions of preparedness in favor of a few extra moments of half-sleep and warmth in the morning. After several years of practice with procrastination, she knows how to apply eyeliner and mascara with a quick, steady hand. How to quickly tease, twist, and pin the mousy-brown hair that reaches to her mid-back. As she pulls on her boots, stretching the last minutes of getting-ready time before she jogging to her car, she wishes she was the kind of girl who could just brush her hair, apply a quick layer of tinted moisturizer,look in the mirror, and call it sufficient. Instead, she sprays every hair and irons every wrinkle into place, compelled to look her best regardless of the day's appointed tasks.

Protein shake. Travel mug warm with black coffee. Gloves. Scarf. Lunch. Book. Cell phone. Water bottle. To many things in one woman's purse, she grumbles to herself as she juggles bag and keys. Then it's two kisses to her husband and a quick pat to her wiggling pup, before dashing to her car to make the long work commute she dreads every morning.

The Maryland winters still make her shiver. The snow streaking the road still makes her grip her her steering wheel a little too tight despite having learned how to drive in real winters. As the work day slips by, memories of southern summers keep her warm as she bundles herself through cold days, She looks ahead to evenings at home with her steady-rock of a husband and bouncy pup--her own little family. The simple joys of her head on his shoulder and the whistling ping-and-patter of their old house's radiators console her in the deep part of winter, keeping homesickness at bay.

Over a slow-cooker supper, she and he will laugh, nudge each other, talk about the next day's events, maybe the next home renovation, or when and how they'll move back south. Curled against the arm of the couch, she watches as he leans forward in his seat, biting his lip in intense focus upon the new football video game. He doesn't notice the  faint grin that quirks the corner of her mouth; she wonders if he knows the pleasure she gets out of these moments--just watching him be him--before drifting to sleep on the couch, the warm weight of the dog pressing her feet.

Only to begin it all again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Please teach me how to apply eyeliner with a steady hand. It is disastrous when I try.


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