Always More Words
In the half light sneaking through the blinds, he saw the outline of the dog lying on carpet, corner of the chair placed to the left of the door, while the sound of heavy breathing from the bed hung just below the white noise of the central air humming from vents into the room.
Fifteen more minutes before the first alarm in the house would click on. Fifteen minutes before the death like aura consuming the house would be broken once again. This had become morning ritual. Snapping awake at 4:30, like some switch deep in his chest had sent the wake up call to every inch of his body. He would feel himself waking, eyes still closed, then he would open them, like a scene from a science fiction movie where someone awakes from sleep mode, years or millennia having passed.
Some days he expected things to be different.
After the bustle of the morning ended, kids off to school, wife to work, he wandered the house. The silence was different; the heaviness of sleep evaporated for another day, leaving only an emptiness behind. Each room he entered, he wiped away fictional residue from his forehead, letting his fingers linger near his eyebrow or cheek. Never anything tangible, but it felt like walking through a barricade, something left behind to protect the room, keep it.
This morning he placed himself just inside the door to the hallway (an earthquake drill location) and waited. From the kitchen, the refrigerator clicked and popped. Arms out, he pressed hands to the door frame. The wood resisted and he liked that. Nothing seemed to resist much anymore. All things giving in to will and weight, like they had none of their own. Everything passionless, solid but without substance.
In this moment he felt connected to the house around him, could feel it breathing with him, preparing to awaken. A smile creased his face.
In his head he counted each second, impressed at the accuracy, as the moment he said ‘sixty’ in his head, the minute would change. For four minutes straight each sixty count was spot on.
Because he could; because he wanted to, he slowed the count in his head, sped up, then stopped altogether at 45.
The radio clicked on and she stirred.
He would try again tomorrow.