Something has to change. I remember these words as I wake from my greedy slumber, the dream forgotten but the meaning fresh as the words repeat again in my mind. Something has to change. I sit up and adjust my boxers with one hand while I pull Squid parallel to me under the blanket, on her back, and scratch her chest and belly. I reach for my cell phone and stop half an extended arm short, the second thought hitting me. It’s Sunday, do I really need to look at the time? Second thought Sunday. It’s seven thirty in the morning.
Squid crawls over the top of me and oozes from under the ocean of blankets onto the floor into a stretch, her back paws hooked onto the bed, the rest of her extended as far as she can possibly make herself go. I imitate the motion and my back pops from brain to ass and I collapse onto the floor, giggling like a child. Crawling to my feet I realize I’m still smiling and can’t figure out why for the life of me as I slide yesterdays pants back on and throw on a fresh shirt.
I fly down the stairs in my usual edge of the step on tip toes way and stop two steps from the first floor, my toes dug into carpet, balancing on the edge, and let Squid scream past me and slide through the turn toward the kitchen on the wood floor to stop abruptly between the sliding glass door and the large turkey frier pot that serves as her food bowl.
With Squid fed I turn my attention to setting water to boil and rolling a cigarette, which happens just in time to spin around and walk outside, Squid squeezing between my leg and the frame of the sliding glass door. She does her business and I let her back in, choosing to stay outside. I look above the roof and power line horizon toward trees and sky. Gray, foggy, and wet. Rain drizzling down in that slowly and steady Oregon way, the weather knowing it has all year to thoroughly soak every inch of the western third of the state – tip to tip. I set the cigarette down on a concrete slab on the patio and step inside to make my tea.
I agitate the bag in the hot water to steep it faster. I know this is some kind of heresy, but I don’t really care, I just want my caffeine. I snag the cigarette and let the words stew in my brain. Something has to change. Aren’t things always changing? Isn’t that life? I’m worrying about nothing for all the right reasons.
Maybe it’s the little things: the cigarettes and pot, the alcohol, the lack of exercise, the video games. Wait, shit – that’s my entire lifestyle. Is my lifestyle the something that needs to change? Do I need to become an entirely different person to catch up all the years I feel I lost in my twenties. Did I actually lose years in my twenties? Did everything that happen, all the loss, happen to lead me to this point? To this lifestyle? Is this how I should be living my life? Or am I being constantly drawn to this junction? Something has to change. Something.
Second thought Sunday – where to begin…