It’s almost 4 am on the clock radio, Adam, my husband snores and grunts on the other side of our king-size bed. I roll over and deftly pinch his nostrils together. One, two, three, four, five. . .He gasps for breath. I release his nose and roll back to my side satisfied that he hasn’t woken and more importantly, has stopped that dreadful, repetitive noise.
On the bedside table, his cell phone vibrates, flashes lights and plays the theme from “The Sting” movie. It reminds me of a scene out of “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.” In my sleep-fogged brain, I think that maybe Adam is really an alien walk-in. Then, through half-open eyelids, I see Brad Pitt rising slowly from the bed and think how lucky am I? I’m really Angelique Jolie in “Mr & Mrs Smith”. In my dreams. . .
A bone-chilling shiver shakes Brad awake. It’s winter and at 4am, the temperature drops and bites at your skin even more once out of the cocooning warmth of the blankets. Brad cranks his body into action, grabs some work clothes and slips into the bathroom. My creative mind is wide awaken; the body however is blissfully asleep, rejuvenating and staying warm and cosy at least for another couple of hours.
The whirr of the fan heater, then exhaust fan and electric toothbrush tells me Adam completes his morning ritual. The door closes, another one opens. The fridge. It’s creaky motor kicks in. A paper bag crackles. He collects the lunch I made the night before. The back door opens and closes. A key turns in the lock. Moments later, a truck engine ignites and gears are crunched as the truck labors up the hill. The sound fades in the distant as Adam heads dutifully off to work.
In my mind, I feel the presence of an entity standing over me. I awake with a start and see a Reptilian with an ammo belt draped across one shoulder. There’s a machine gun of sorts pointed at me. I feel like I’m in “Predator”. I gasp and reach across the bed to Brad and prey he’s morphed into Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he’s gone. “Go away!” I rasp, the vocal chords straining in the coldness of the morning. I blink and he’s gone. Restless, I disturb the dog, Paulette at the end of the bed. She has a massive scratch attack, then curls into a ball and settles.
In my mind’s eye, I see a mermaid fall through the ceiling. Hey, it’s Bindi Irwin! She stands on her tail and says, “Hi! I’m Crystal Waters. I’m here to save marine life from oil spills.” That sounds promising. Eyes closed, I roll over and grab my handy, dandy notebook and pen from the bedside table to scrawl down some notes.
It’s 6 am, the body clock awakes. On auto-pilot, I shift my legs under the blankets. Paulette is instantly awake and ready for a play. She bounds up the bed and frantically licks my face, showering me with love and affection. Paulette is doubly French, a toy poodle/ bichon friese cross. I am blessed with a few French kisses. “Je t’aime, ma chere,” I say. I pick the bundle of white fluff up and carry her into the hallway. I close the door and slip into the bathroom to disinfect my face, mouth, ears, neck from dog germs. Errr!
I head to the other side of the house. Automatically, I throw on a load of laundry, put dishes away, feed the dog and fish before washing down an array of vitamins and herbs to keep my body up with my mind. The cold seeps through my flannelette nightgown. I grab a couple of children’s multi-vitamins and head back to my bedroom. On the way, I slip a small orange tablet in the shape of a robot into the mouths of my two teenage boys who are still in slumber land. My second-born son, Victor has his mouth open like a dolphin. I imagine seeing him spitting out itsy-bitsy sea horses. I slip into my bedroom, grab my handy, dandy notebook and pen, and write that down. I pull on my dressing gown and slip my portable writing utensils into my dressing gown pocket. The washing machine clicks off. I head to the laundry.
My fingers, like ice picks, work to retrieve circulation as I stack the clean, damp clothes from the machine into the laundry basket. I stuff another load of laundry into the machine and bring the machine to life again. I head outside to hang the completed load onto the clothes line. There’s a foggy mist swirling around the backyard. I think maybe it will be warmer today. Paulette squats beside me and relieves herself with the elegance and the nous to angle it downhill away from my fluffy slippers.
I pad back to the kitchen deftly retaining my balance on the dewy grass. Once inside, Paulette stands on her back legs. She wants to dance. I hold her front paws. I hum “The Blue Danube” and we waltz around for a time. I pull out my handy dandy notebook and pen and write that down.
I make lunches for school, mine included. As an unpaid, professional screenwriter, I have a day job to put food on the table and pay the constant stream of bills flowing into the house. I glance at the wall clock which has basketballs instead of numbers and a wisp of basketball playing memories flood back. I blink them away and stare in disbelief at what time it is. It’s 7:25 am. Time for breakfast. Will it be 90 second microwaveable oatmeal or a diet shake? I need to be in the shower by 7:30 am to be out the door by 8 am. Diet shake wins out. I put my hand in the box for a lucky dip and pull out Mango flavor – Cool, my favorite! Shake, shallow, rinse. Mm. I make four pieces of toast and deliver them to the boy’s bedroom.
First born son, Freddie sprawls face down across his king-single bed. Puberty has hit and his huge feet dangle off the end of the bed. Crikey! He’s had another growth spurt. The room is a pigsty and smells of bug spray. I recognize it as the new brand of deodorant he’s trying out. It’s supposed to smell like chocolate and turn him into an instant chic magnet! His alarm clock blares and I flick it off. I clear the thick mop of hair away from Freddie’s angelic but pimply face. He really is a handsome dude. Maybe, when he’s eighteen and is forced to cut his hair to gain a job, we’ll see another Mel Gibson or Josh Efron emerge. “A High School Musical Performer!” – I write that down. “Wake up, Honey! Eat your breakfast. It’s time for school,” I sing. I kiss Freddie on the forehead and place his toast on the bed head. No response. “Tour bus leaves in ten minutes. Be on it!”