He finds himself sadly lying on a red leather couch, staring at the family room ceiling in the early morning hours as the minutes tick slowly away. His head on a hard sofa pillow, half-covered under a red, fleece blanket, he ponders how has his life come to this? How have things gotten so far out of hand? How did things go so wrong? He turns on his side as the screws of the couch plunge into his ribs and tries to sob himself to sleep.
You like how I’m putting the ending before the beginning? That’s what we fancy writers do when we’re trying to be, well…..fancy. I’m baiting the reader into needing to know how the main character could possibly wind up in this awful situation. I’m drawing you in without your awareness OR your approval. Dramatic, huh?
The evening had started out normally enough. Bed time was around 10pm after a full day of cavorting on the soccer field and soccer cookouts and hot, steamy sun. We were tired….nay, we were exhausted. The bed felt like a bed is supposed to feel on one of those hot summer nights when the air is so still that even a whisper of a breeze interrupts your solitude. Soon, eyelids were being closed and sleep was being had. All was right with the world and the world was all right.
I seem to be alternating between writing a cheap romance novel and a 1920’s detective story. Where will it end up? WHERE WILL IT END UP!?!?!?
Suddenly, as if tickled on the chin by the Sleepless Fairy, I was bothered. I looked at the clock and it was only 2:30am. Happy but wary, I tried to go back to sleep. But I was being slightly nudged – in the arm. Then slightly nudged in the face. I opened my eyes and saw this:
That’s right – it was our 10 pound piece of snot. Apparently my charming daughter who always sleeps with the snot had deposited her into our bed during a thunderstorm earlier that evening that I had peacefully slumbered through. Now this smelly, hairy mess was actually trying to first move my arm, and THEN MY HEAD to get to my pillow. You know what? Fine. Battle won on her part. I moved over – but I still couldn’t sleep. I had let the 10 pound dog get the better of me and that just wouldn’t stand. I slowly pried her off the pillow like someone prying a cooked spaghetti noodle off of a countertop. She eventually got the idea and moved off down the bed.
And proceeded to put her entire 10 pound wet exactly on the spot of my body where I wouldn’t want a 10-pound weight EVER put. I even think she did a little shih tzu shuffle while I was gasping for air. That’s how she is. She eventually found a spot right where my legs were SUPPOSED to go when there was peace and civility in the world.
Through all of this my lovely wife slept cozily cuddled under all of her blankets. Unaware? I don’t think so. Uncaring? Perhaps. In love with the little piece of snot? Definitely.
I trudged out to the family room and settled on my normal spot on the couch. Vowing to get my spot back the next night. Knowing that it just would never happen with this thing in my way:
A mighty salute to you Lizzie – your 10 pounds of humbleness and comfort outweigh me easily. I will just fashion a little bed on the floor so that you can have my pillow. And my bed. And my wife. Just everything.