June 1, 2004
Nudged


Tuesday morning, 6:20 a.m.  

David is getting into the shower, twenty minutes ahead of schedule.

I didn't even hear him get out of bed this morning. I've been sitting in the next room in front of the computer, blow-drying my hair with one hand and typing bits of two-fingered e-mail with the other. When I tiptoed out of the bedroom half an hour ago, he was still curled beneath the blankets, snoozing like a grizzly on tranqs. Ordinarily he continues snoozing that way until at least 6:40 (6:45, if we stayed up to watch the 10:00 news the night before) while I sit quietly on the other side of the bed ... putting on my makeup, setting my hair, drinking coffee, watching him sleep ... until it's time for me to reach across the expanse of blankets and nudge him gently with my big toe. I call it "The Daily Nudge."   

Rise and shine, darling light of my life, the nudge signifies. Join me in greeting the arrival of another glorious day, filled with life's endless, wonderful possibilities!  (Read this: If I've gotta get up, Buster, so do you.)

Today, apparently, he has managed to get out of bed sans nudge.

As he bustles around in the bathroom, I take a seat in the middle of the unmade bed. I've got the full complement of acoutrements beauté spread out before me -- mirrors, hairbrushes, electric rollers, gels, lotions, potions, moisturizers, mattifiers, a microscopic tube of  "line eradicator" that cost me one-sixteenth of a paycheck -- plus enough Maybelline and L'Oreal to make up the entire cast of "Beach Blanket Babylon." With this, I begin the painstaking daily beautification rituals. Today's goal: camouflaging a major forehead zit, plus making the four remaining eyelashes on my right eyelid look like fourteen. I'm actually feeling not-half-bad today: rested, relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed ...  all of the really good *R* words. (Except maybe *ready* to go back to the office.) Three days of books, naps, antibiotics and David will have that effect on a person. The nice thing about a three-day weekend is that it always seems to come along just when you need it most.   

The bad thing about a three-day weekend, of course, is that it only lasts for three days.

Behind the closed bathroom door, I can hear David pulling back the shower curtain and turning on the water ... the slow stubborn hot water, first, then the cold. He hasn't started singing yet, but he will: the moment that first blast of hot water hits the top of his head, he'll burst into song like an American Idol wannabe. Never mind that it's only 6:20 a.m., and that we are the only two people awake on the planet so far. Never mind that he hasn't introduced so much as a drop of caffeine into his bloodstream yet. Never mind that it's the start of another work week  ... not to mention the start of another new month: one of the busiest, most exhausting, most emotionally complicated months we'll likely endure this year, at that. He'll sing in the shower anyway: loud, proud, unabashed, occasionally on-key, utterly unconcerned with who might hear him. The man was born to sing in the shower, the way some people are born to climb mountains, or to grow prize-winning tomatoes, or to teach quantum physics.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if  ... 

I stop in mid-beautification-ritual, struck by a sudden horrifying realization. The start of a new month. 

Oh my god. It's June 1st.

I leap off the bed and rush across the room to the bathroom door. I don't barge in unannounced: the last thing either one of us needs this morning is for David to drop dead of a heart attack. (That really would be a crappy way to start the week.) And I don't knock on the door to get his attention, because that will almost certainly invite a verbal response from him ... and the fact is that I need him to NOT open his mouth at all, for any reason, for at least the next .0024 seconds. Instead, I cup my hands against my mouth, press my face against the closed bathroom door, and in my loudest, clearest, most authoritative voice -- hopefully a voice loud/clear/authoritative enough to be heard over the sound of running water -- I say two urgently important words:

"RABBIT RABBIT."

There is a long excruciating moment of silence on the other side of the door, followed immediately by an even more excruciating moment of uncertainty -- Did he hear me? Did he understand what I said? Am I too late? And then, to my unspeakable relief, I hear the cheerful reply.

"Rabbit Rabbit!" he shouts back at me, over the watery din. "Thanks, Honey!"

A moment later, I hear him climb into the shower. Another moment after that, he is singing. (This morning's wake-'em-up selection: "Chicken Shack Boogie" by Amos Milburn.) I climb back onto the bed and resume my  beautification rituals, feeling as though we've narrowly dodged a karmic bullet. Without my wifely *nudge* just now, there is no way David would have remembered to protect himself against a month's worth of bad luck. 

He's so lucky to have me.

And yes, I know it's silly. I know that I'm a grown woman -- chronologically, anyway -- and that there should be no room in my carefully reasoned life for a lot of superstitious hooey. White balloons, tails-up pennies, Dreaded Bad Luck Songs, safety pins in birthday cakes ... I know that they have no basis in fact, that they're holdovers from an overly imaginative childhood, that they're more about fear and habit than self-protection. I also know this: that in exactly eleven days, two hours and forty-five minutes, David and I will be getting on an airplane and flying seven hundred miles to TicTac, to watch my youngest child graduate from high school.  

What can I tell you?  I'm not taking ANY chances this month.



next        previous        home        archives        want to throw a rock?    



© secraterri 1998-2004
all rights reversed reserved!
comments/questions/spelling corrections HERE
~ nil bastardum carborundum ~
 
   
 
utterly baffled?
read_this