It was a short night following a mellow evening the likes of which we have not had in some time. Things have been too busy. Things have been too stressed. Things have been too damn pinched; you can hardly be expected to pinch pennies you haven't got, now, can you?
It was a special kind of luxury to sit in the Mixx over dinner – waiting for laundry – and spending five solid hours visiting, texting, thumbing through Vanity Fair with no need to worry about needing to be someplace else or how many dollars the bill might run to.
We hauled laundry up the stairs of home around midnight and – all our favorite shirts and underwear fresh and clean – headed out on a late night excursion before returning to adjust the thermostat and settle in for the night . . .
I wake at five in the morning to the alarm not even remembering when I dropped off and begin getting ready for the day only to find when looking out the window that the bulk of the fall color on our street has been whisked away past peeling houses in the hours before dawn and is hurriedly rattling down the street to the place bright colors go to hide until spring.
Our apartment, even in it's current state of utter chaos, is homey and welcoming. Light filters through the linen panels in the bedroom and falls across Roderick's face as he breathes softly in his sleep and the only sound otherwise is the ticking of our clocks each busily keeping time in their own efficient way that only makes sense to them and keeps us compnay more than providing the expected service.
I seldom see, but like, this time of day; there is a quality about it that almost makes up for the loss of sleep the sight of such early light costs. It is possible in the early morning – before even the street is awake – to walk through the house and look at it as if I do not exist, as if I had stumbled upon a way to absent myself from my own life and to, then, turn and look over my shoulder at it without feeling entirely connected to it.
Leaving the bedroom, I look to the right through the pumpkin-colored hall into our plum-tinted study with it's cast-off sleigh sofa and its fragments of creamy porch column and banister neatly stacked with random books. . . Into the bathroom to assess the damage of the night before . . . Not bad. . . . Nothing a little gel and a comb won't fix. . . out into the dining room with its theatre seats, filled bookcases, and the table with its arrangement of pebbles in a green metal tray that supports delicate twigs wandering between the arms of the light fixture above . . . through the disaster breeding in our kitchen (we both hate doing dishes) to grab a cup of tea . . . back to the bathroom where I hang up Roderick's towel from the night before.
Hanging up towels isn't one of his virtues. But he has many others. . . I find myself tempted to nudge under the covers and will the day to wait for me a little longer. But I don't. Because it won't. So I grin and grab my coat, instead, and head down the stairs to the front door.
Winter's first wind began in the night and has been steadily, efficiently whipping away the leaves until it appears the maples and horse chestnuts are clinging to shreds of red and gold fabric with tired, bony fingers. And on the wind along the River from across the Lake came the first frost: The air has the nip of good cognac, my breath hangs in the quiet morning and the grass crunched under foot as I cross the lawn on my way to work.
Officially or not, Winter is digging in for a long stay.