Suddenly Single

Rise and Shine?

4:07 a.m.
    I'm up. I can't believe I'm up. I looked outside. It was pitch black. I could just see the outlines of the palmetto trees. Judy gets up at this hour some times and my friend Debbie (in London) gets up at un-Godly hours and does laundry.Laundry? Well she always had trouble sleeping, but not me.
    Usually, if I am up, it's Mr. C&G's barnyard symphony that wakes me. Even when the bedroom is icicle cold, he still manages to honk out a snoring serenade. But I couldn't blame it on him this morning, he's in Charlotte, N.C. Could it be the dreaded "M" strangling what's left of my hormones?
    I'm up wide awake like I just main-lined my Starbucks, venti quad shot no fat wet cappuccino, but that's not until 9:00 a.m. Now the dilemma I face is do I physically get up or toss and turn, thinking about how to get back to sleep, or about everything else; from what did I do with the Christmas stockings to what's for dinner. I don't want to doze, since then I face the problem of having really whacked out dreams that scare me. Oh, God.I'll get up. I like the mornings anyway, just not "4:07 in the morning" mornings.
I always shut my bedroom door, firmly, with a click. The few times I didn't, Nana wandered in, flicked the lights on and yelled. "Is anybody here?" Talk about jump-starting your heart. It took me two hours to calm down from that wake up call.
    When my bedroom door clicks, to open, you have to push your shoulder against it and give it a sharp quick shove. When the door snaps open, it makes a rude noise. You would have thought by now I had outgrown the hilarity of bodily function humor. But I haven't, nor have I had the door fixed. I prefer to giggle. I opened the door, winced and giggled at 4:13 a.m.
    Now I have to sneak out of my bedroom, through the living room and into the kitchen where I left my Mac last night.
    So like a cat burglar, I slinked around the corner, and peered into the living room. So far so good.Nana, the other early riser was not in her chair sitting like a ghost. One morning I got up (around 5:00 a.m) and there she was. All I saw was her face in the dim light; it could have been a scene from Harry Potter. She has a habit of startling me in the wee morning hours.
    I didn't dare flick on the lights. I padded down the hallway to the kitchen and again peaked around the corner. Her room was still dark. Now, the next daily dilemma crept into my head.what will I find when I go check on her? It's a daily heart wrenching routine. Will she know who I am or not. Lately, I am Jean, her ninety-year-old cousin who lives somewhere in Ohio. Or the lady in charge of this place, or as I call it Sally's Happy Home for the Aged. Who would have thought that I'd find myself running my own version of Fawlty Towers? With me starring as a female Basil Fawlty running around like a mad woman trying to please all the guests and their ridiculous demands.

4:18 a.m.
    Now I have the coffee problem. Should I chance making coffee? If I make too much noise then there is a possibility I'll evoke company. Nana's room is just down the hall from the "household nerve center," and the most bizarre noises wake her. Which was crazy since during the day she wouldn't hear a 747 jet if it landed in the backyard. But the suction noise the freezer door makes when you open it could do the job and that is right where the coffee is held captive. Then me "Jean" and Nana would end up having a chit-chat about the comings and goings on Tulip Street in the 1930's. I opened the freezer and crossed my fingers, not today; my brain was not geared up for it at 4:23 a.m.
    Too much to think about at 4:24 a.m.It's not morning until the aroma of a fresh, brewing coffee pot hits your nose and you take your first sip. The problem would be if it hit anyone else's nose. Since I was up before dawn, I wanted to keep the dawn to myself.
    I really should not have worried about the coffee that much. When I arrived at the counter, there was a large, full, black plastic trash bag, just plopped there like a giant slug in the dark complete with liquid oozing from the bottom, which I discovered when I felt the slime squelch through my bare little tootsies. It was last night's dinner and the accompanying sauce. There's nothing worse than the foul odor of day old shrimp curry in combination with chicken tikka marsala.
    Not the way I planned on starting my morning, I decided to take my chances with the coffee. I was now wide awake. With the coffee brewed, I decided to sit outside. The sky was just beginning to turn a pale orange and it was a beautiful morning. I guess I didn't mind being up after all. It was peaceful, dark and quiet. I thought being up so early I could actually get a lot done. I went back inside, grabbed my Mac, poured another cup, and headed back out to the deck when I heard a voice from the living room. "Jean, is that you?" I put my coffee down; I put my Mac down and walked over to the voice.
    "Yes, Nan it is (sigh) how are you this morning? Would you like a cup of coffee?" 4:33 a.m.. another sigh.

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