My husband, Stij, for example, is a day person. He will arise early of a Saturday, jette to the nearest window, and tear aside the curtain to gaze upon Mother Nature in all her dawn beauty. The Peer Gynt Suite is playing in his mind as he throws up the sash and breathes deeply of the fresh morning air. He will then do several deep knee bends and assorted other calisthenics, after which he will stride to the bathroom and take a cool shower. He will sing during this. Then, freshly scrubbed and dressed, he will joyfully leap down the stairs, or possibly slide down the banister, prance to the kitchen, and enjoy his first cup of coffee while listening to the morning birdsong at our feeder. After a while, he will get up from the table and, from scratch, mix up some cinnamon rolls, bake them to perfection, make another pot of coffee, and take it all out to the patio, where he will spend the next few hours reading the paper and sharing his bounty with the squirrels.
I, on the other hand, am a night person. I don’t react well to mornings. I don’t react well to any time earlier than noon, because I will have gone to bed at 3:00 AM. For comparative purposes, my mornings, when I have to face them, go something like this:
I arise early of a Saturday, stumble to the window, tear down the curtains, look at the sash, and throw up. I gaze upon Mother Nature through crusty, mostly closed eyes, and wonder what the hell she’s doing up in the middle of the night. I do not do this to appreciate her beauty. I do this to see what the weather is like. Even an observation as simple as this takes many minutes to penetrate my sleep-fogged brain, after which I fall back into bed and do my calisthenics, which include fluffing the pillow and finding a comfy position under ten layers of quilts. But, the day calls, so I fall out of bed with a crash that registers on the Richter Scale, get up, check for broken bones, and teeter into the bathroom. I take a shower (or I think I do. I will not remember in an hour whether I did or not), then dress in the delightful fashion statement of business suit, ski boots, and a hardhat. Next, I trip and fall down the stairs, landing in a heap at the kitchen doorway. I get up, re-check for broken bones, and limp over to the coffee pot. There’s none left, so I scoop in some cat litter and start it perking. Stij has hidden my air rifle, so pot shots at the happy little birdies that are sounding so goddamned cheerful is out of the question. I settle for obscene gestures, instead. By now, Stij has cleared up all the knickknacks that broke when I fell down the stairs. He walks into the kitchen.
“Good morning, Sunshine!” he cries, with diabetes-inducing bonhomie.
“Who are you?” I mumble.
“The guy who looooooooovvvvvveeeessss you!” he twaddles, with minty-fresh breath. Anybody who can add twenty extra syllables to the word “love” clearly does not want to live until lunchtime.
I turn and with my brimstone breath that I sent away to hell for, I ask, “Wwwwwwhhhhhoooooooo?”
He keels over.
Good. That’s taken care of. Blessed silence once again.
After I slug down my cat litter coffee and eat a sponge that I thought was a pastry, my eyes are finally open and my mind is finally functioning. I survey the wreckage and do what has to be done.
I go back to bed.