Blurry specks of black against a gently rolling white backdrop outside. The lampshade to the light of the window. My arm reaching towards my face. The first contrasts my eyes make out. The sturdy stillness of white pine silhouettes, cut off squarely by the upper boundary of my bedroom window. As I lay in bed, I look out through the glass at pre-dawn. It is black, shapes barely discernible in the light of the moon. Pinching beams and rubbing floorboards, this old house shutters at ill-mannered old man winter. My face is cold. The dog shifts his stare towards me from the heel of the bed. It is a drowsy look of apathy, simply an eye-brow raise at the movement of my head on the pillow, the curling of my toes under the quilt. My thoughts transition sluggishly, as gears shifting slowly by the cold engine of a truck.
I rock out of bed, bare feet meet the wood floor, flick on the lamp light so harsh. Throw a small blanket around these shoulders, sturdy quilted cloth to this aching back, and I open the door out of this room that holds me well as a lover on a cold night. Strike a match by the wood stove, light the kindling so neatly piled and prepared in a state of fastidiousness that could only be brought on by a thoughtful glass of bourbon the night before. At that quick familiar growth of the fire, without a thought I place one hand near to warm, and I stack on a piece of bone dry wood with the other.
Growing light. Through my kitchen window, at two feet by two feet, rays reach between the trunks of fur trees. A bright arm extending, here, and then there, moving slowly upward, westward, as the hour ticks by.
My movements in the morning are near automatic. It is only after a few hours with my waking mind that my thoughts begin to put my actions into moments of filibuster. Stalls brought on by maybe too much consideration. But in the morning only pure movement; I move, I stoke, I pull on shirts, I put on pants, I clasp buttons, I boil, I turn appliance knobs.
The kettle on the stove. Steam roils followed by its whistling afterthought, which I catch before the fussing becomes so urgent. In the heavy pan goes the grease, flour, a touch of milk. Poured over the meat and salted. I turn off the gas, I pull the foot stool close to the wood stove, and shovel down the meat and gravy. The dog sits by.
There is a sort of quiet urgency to my day. The sun block on the floor hastens my drowsy morning ritual and I take my coat off the hook on the wall