Like the Prose: Challenge #22 – Write something nonsensical. (I did not succeed. I merely managed to be silly.)
Morning comes too early. I’m pulled from sleep in the middle of REM sleep. I stumble to the kitchen in that half-aware state between sleeping and waking.
The dogs are barking at nothing.
Maybe they see things I don’t.
Maybe the leaves three blocks away really are a threat.
Coffee won’t listen and understand but it will make the morning feel less like razor blades and more like something merely annoying, like when I get a hair caught in my eyelash but I can’t quite grab it, and it keeps irritating me until I’m ready to gouge my eyes out with rusty spoons.
Because fruit spoons would make it too easy.
I’ve been using that line for years and I’ve never revealed that I actually stole it from Swoosie Kurt’s character in a filmed-for-tv production of The House of Blue Leaves where she threatens to commit suicide by slitting her wrists with spoons.
Except that’s not quite right.
I pour the milk into the cup first and the coffee on top, because I’m lazy and don’t want to have to wash an extra spoon. I watch the abstract patterns form and I have the line from that Carly Simon song riffing in my head, “I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee,” and suddenly I’m on a sailboat on a coffee sea and the sails are cocktail napkins held up by masts made of balsa-wood stirrer-stick masts.
A wave of café au lait washes over the boat, and I pick up a teaspoon oar and try to beat it back, but it drenches me.
But even worse… it’s decaf.
* * *
Beeping. I hear beeping. Maybe it’s the emergency beacon and someone is floating me a stack of shortbread to float home on.
Maybe it’s the alarm, and my REM sleep was never interrupted.
And it was all a dream within a dream.
And the only spooning I’m doing is being the inside one in the stack formed with me and my husband.
Who is snoring like foghorns, loud enough to wake the dead.
And the dogs bark.
And he rolls on his back.
And I pull him back to me.
“You have to stay on your side,” I say, “because there are lizards coming to scoop out your brains. And they drink decaf and it’s awful.”
He holds me tighter.
I go back to sleep.
And in the morning, he brings me caffeinated coffee in a mug with dinosaurs on it.