I couldn’t open my eyes. Well, I could, I just didn’t want to. These mornings I couldn’t stand the light and I would waddle from my bedroom to the kitchen, eyes firmly shut and wrapped in a blanket. Now, it always comes to opening my eyes eventually, but to make it easier I would start with taking peaks at the inside of the fridge. Small doses of light until my mind stopped recoiling in horror, as it had vampiric tendencies, begging me to go back to the coffin that was my bed.
However, once the refrigerator was open I collected the necessary materials for my breakfast. I used to vary my breakfast, have something that was new at least once a week. Of course, that was when I wasn’t living alone. Now, I simply made a large omelette filled with whatever leftovers there were from the night before.
Today’s omelette was not a favourite to any guests I did have over; Chinese take-away. Something about the noodles threw people off, causing them to gag or simply leave me to ways. I preferred if they left anyway, because I rarely had enough food to have guests over.
Making food with a blanket around me wasn’t easy, but over the years I developed a technique. I learnt how to crack eggs with one hand from a video I saw online. I would hold the bowl against the counter with my pelvis while my hand whisked the eggs. Finally, I stopped buying salt grinders, opting to get it in bags so I only need to take a pinch and add it to the mixture.
The rest was easy. Throwing ingredients into a pan could always be done with one hand and even flipping the omelette closed was a simple flick of the chopsticks.
Now, I still consider myself an expert at being an adult. Completely independant to the point I could drive to the optometrist; everything. Still, I felt a sense of loneliness akin to hermitism. I would sit there, slurping the noodles from the omelette, imagining if I had a roommate and how it would affect my day-to-day lifestyle. However, my imagination was lacking, so after that mental strain I would drift over to the coffee machine.
By the point the time I started making coffee, my eyes were ready for the day. The lights were on and the vampire wasn’t home. My coffee choices were twofold; instant and harder-instant. Today I felt like challenging myself and started to prepare coffee from bean, to grinder, to machine. It was a step-by-step process filled with noise and plenty of spills.
The counter became speckled with coffee beans and power, a splash of water here and there as I failed to compensate with the weight in time. Eventually, the machines was ready. With a few smacks here and there the wiring found its place and the buzzing noise ensued.
While I waited I smelled the coffee scent that became a feature of my hands. Already I was feeling my mind rev its engines and the smell was recognized. Like any routine you need only start for things to flow and that dash of coffee sending electricity through my skull is what got it spinning in the right direction.
The coffee machine began to spit into the cup I placed beneath it, the black juices building as the fragrant smell of ‘Italy’ filling the kitchen. I sat down in front of my empty plate, pushing it aside and pulling the newspaper from yesterday towards me. I scanned through the paper, but my mind wouldn’t register anything till I found the crossword.
Unlike most I didn’t really do well with crosswords. Whenever I couldn't find a word I would take a sip of coffee and colour in its blocks and scratch out the hint. By simply pretending it wasn’t there I was still completing the crossword in my own mind.
Once it was finished I took today's newspaper and checked to see if my two answers were corrects. Once they both were I rewarded myself with a second cup of coffee to-go. If none of my answers turned out right, I would scratch and colour till I was right and earn the same reward for the wasted ink.
While that coffee brewed I would work myself through the rest of my morning stretches. I counted the clicking noises and told myself that if I hit double digits I would call in sick with back trouble.
However, I would always fall short, that last click always bordering on popping, but it would simply stay there like an annoying block in my body. I cursed it beneath my breath and made my final preparations for the day. I would go around the house making sure everything was closed, I would collect the things I wanted to take with me to work and once I was sure everything was ready I paused.
I would do something that most people should do before they leave the house for work. I would wait and let my mind speak up. It always kept something to itself, something seemingly mundane for the most part, but if catastrophic if forgotten. I waited by the door for ten minutes, backpack in one hand and keys in the other.
Ah, that’s right. Something so easy to forget when you’re bundled up so warmly in a blanket. Swapping out my pajamas for a crisp uniform I always cleaned when I got home I found myself ready. The coffee was still hot, I had everything I needed and that last, niggling thought found and seen to.
Stepping out the door I climbed into my car, placing my bag in the backseat and started the car. It was a pleasant enough day for a drive and the traffic felt a lot less than the day before. I began to applaud myself on my well-thought-out routine as I neared my workplace, that is until I passed the take-away place close by, reading the sign which usually held the next days omelette filling.
Oh, by the way, it’s also your day off.