Aia sits and looks up at me with the sweetest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. I’m sitting on the edge of the bed legs folded up “Indian style” staring down at her with a half grin. What do you want Squid? I suggest more than ask. Squid is what I’ve been calling her, instead of Aia, it’s easier to remember, to not get confused with other sounds or names.
Squid barks and cocks her head to the side, one ear flipping over on itself lazily.
It’s Friday, the screen on my phone blinds me with a digital read out of the time. Six in the morning. My first instinct when my eyes burst open was to panic, and immediately my chest tightened and my body jolted to life, springing out of bed, my right hand shooting about the windowsill searching blindly for the cell phone hiding among the debri. My left hand goes wild, spinning the desk chair around and snatching yesterdays pair of pants.
Both hands shut down temporarily when I first realize that it’s ok, in fact, it’s great. You can go back to bed, Andrew, you can go back to sleep, it’s Friday, you have the day off, and it’s only five.
But now it was six fifteen and my eyes had adjusted to the dark and street light shadows of almost early morning. Snow fell quietly around a constant fall of hail, pinging and tanging against the window.
Squid barks again and I reach down and put my hand on her head, she sits still for a moment, as if waiting for more, and then wiggles her head back and forth, doing the work for me. Good girl, I praise and her tail loses control. After an hour of sitting, internet surfing, playing with Squid and pacing in my room, I finally grab my laundry and take her downstairs. The sliding glass door opens and Squid exits for her morning business as I slide the downstairs bathroom door open with my left foot and step in with my right, the laundry basket pinned between my chest and my right arm as I slide across the floor into the bathroom, around the corner, and to the back of the room where the laundry machines sleep. I bring them roaring to life, hungry for my dirty rags, and leave them to their machinations, popping my head out into the small backyard to see Squid finishing up. I call for her and she runs back in, such a good girl, I reassure her and she loses her mind with joy.
With kettle on stove for coffee, and a mixture of beans and tomatoes, spices and herbs, marinating in the crock pot for tonight, my day begins.