I drink the coffee the husband’s made for me
at the same time I’m drying my hair and scanning the Times for the headlines.
Eight a.m. is too early to work,
at least that’s what I think.
Getting going takes everything in me some mornings.
The coffee, though– it does make a difference.
(He’s the husband because he is singular.)
The drive is three parkways, connected by three rotaries and some miscellaneous roads.
They’re real parkways, medians and roadsides
lined with high-arching trees,
well-colored in gold and fire-red, peach and oak ochre and dun.
The part of me that can’t just enjoy the moment I’m in
looks forward to winter and icicles hanging from darkened, wet bark.
(It’s somehow strange that weedy sumac is the brightest of all.)
At lunch, I eat my cheese sticks and Ida Red apple.
The orchard was out of the kind that I wanted–
the Idas at least at the merit of sharing a name with my Grandma.
It’s a good a reason as any– better, on further reflection.
The apple is tart– crisp– delicious– even better than the original Ida.
The cheese sticks are just cheese sticks.
(I like cheese sticks just fine.)
That whole “full moon theory” about Emergency Rooms and crazy behavior–
the same thing happens in bookstores.
Except instead of people going to Bellevue,
it’s three customers in one day with glass eyes or five in a row greeting me with Irish accents
or people who don’t think the health code applies to their pocketbook dogs while they buy their tall macchiatos
or say things like “I don’t read the back of reciepts” yet still want their return or exchange.
(I probably shouldn’t have said “Well, that’s why we put it there, we know you won’t read it,” but I just can’t regret it.)
The younger girls, post-college, pre-heartbreak–
I can tell, though Id’ve asked anyway– laugh in the breakroom.
Sometimes they even laugh at my jokes, and the fact that I watch little tv earns me endless respect.
Even explaining we were too cheap to buy cable when first we were married,
then just got out of the habit, doesn’t dissuade them from thinking I’m cool.
There’s a part of me that wants to let them down now,
so we won’t all have to wait on the disappointment of my being human.
(I find I don’t wish I was their age again.)
Someone wants the new author’s continuation of Hitchhiker’s Guide.
Someone else rolls their eyes, shakes their head, condemns the whole genre.
Book people have opinions, even about towels and forty-two.
When my shift’s over, I’ll drive home, sit on the couch, catch up on the world.
I’ll make something tasty for supper, read, talk to the husband, write, go to bed.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
(There’s something to be said for prose, after all.)