I lay on my back, my right arm casually flung over my eyes, my duvet pulled up to my chin. I spread my limbs carelessly-enjoying the coolness of the sheets beneath me; listening to the unobtrusive sounds that assail my thoughts. I find, I can see without opening my eyes, my ears serve in all I need to know of whats going on around me.
My spouse is in the living room. He is on the phone, his sing song voice going up and down. I try to guess who he is speaking to. The door to our boudoir is closed and so his voice is muffled. We made a pact a while back to make as little noise as possible on Saturday mornings. Whoever gets up first leaves the other in silent tranquility. “Make your own breakfast, watch television, talk on your phone, read a book…whatever you do, do it elsewhere-and quietly”. With children who have have gotten to the age where they are relatively independent; it is a doable arrangement. There was a time that was not possible. When our mornings were disrupted by toddlers tumbling into our bed; when our schedules were made to par with theirs; when our lives was ‘beautiful chaos’. Back when, we stumbled out of bed in the mornings, both blurry eyed, bumping into each other on the corridor – trying to find the bathroom while half awake; reacting to the inbuilt alarms in our heads to get- a- move- on.
Now, I can lay in bed and play a game of ‘who can that be’. With my eyes closed, I try to guess the originator of each sound I hear coming from different parts of our home. I hear the bunk bed creak in the children’s room. I hear the familiar heavy thumping of Long Legs as he leaves their room and goes to the bathroom. I hear the muffled exchange between father and son. I drift back into sleep and dream. Its a weekend and I am sleeping on my single bed in the room I share with my two sisters. I can’t tell how old I am exactly but I am wearing an old night shirt I wore in my college days. My hair is in abject disarray and my sisters are in various stages of of undress. We are talking excitedly, a rush of words I can’t remember-the dream, a blast of colors and beautiful music. The dream, a quiet reminder of the past. When we all lived together in one unit, long before we all ventured out as adults; before we all got married and started our respective families; back when….I saw life in black and white and not shades of grey. The days, my father would sit in his study, carefully bent over his many manuscripts. His bifocals perched on the edge of his nose, pen in hand-poised to write. My brother on his computer. My mother pottering about in her bedroom, while she shared an anecdote or two.
I awake again, my eyes- I keep closed and resume playing the game. I hear Chunky ask for cereal. I hear the door to my room venture open in creaks. I feel an added weight on my bed; a pressed kiss on my lips and know its Chunky without opening my eyes. He slips away, as quickly as he came in. A fourth voice, softer then the men’s joins the mix. She asks their Dad whether he wants to join her in eating oats. At that time, I decide to open my eyes.