Prompt 073: Ideal Sunday Morning
73. Describe your ideal Sunday morning. When would you get up, what would you do, and how would you feel while doing it?
I think about perfect mornings quite a lot. I think the morning is my favourite part of the day.
The coffee would have been setup the night beforehand, and I would have one of those digital-timer coffeemakers and I would wake up to the fragrance of a good cuppa. The coffee itself would be from a friend of mine's roastery in north Ohio, and I'd have my usual two shakes of cayenne pepper in there.
I'd wake up to that scent, and as my hand drifted to the other side of the bed, I gently pet the cat asleep next to me. I pet and stroke its head, and it purrs, knowing I'm their friend.
I gently rise, not wanting to stir my friend from their rest, and I even push the blanket round the cat to make a snug nest. The cat twists and reaches out with its forelegs, turning slightly to nestle in the blanket-nest and go back to sleep.
Still in the rapidly-disappearing pre-dawn, I pour my first cup of coffee, in a mug I made myself. It's the colour of blue and the Earth, with speckles of black. The handle is a distinctive two-holed design, so two of my fingers fit in the grip.
I step over to the pantry shelf, and snatch a green apple from my supply. I turn it over in my hand, nodding in approval when I see no blemishes.
I draw the curtain and blinds aside that cover the rear sliding door of my apartment, and realise that the sun is just over the horizon. It's that rich, fiery orange colour as it peeks over the treetops, and I step into it, a luminous, bronzed amber. Though the highway is barely 100 feet away from where I stand, the traffic is calm and nearly non-existent. Maybe a car passes by once a minute. The forested gully between us helps keep things quiet, too, although the autumn is approaching fast. Most of the rest of the world is still asleep today.
I savor the cup of coffee in my hand, punctuated with succulent, snappy bites of that green apple. Its flesh pops with crisp flavour and apple juice. It's the best combination of tastes I know: tart green apple, coffee, and cayenne pepper. I finish my coffee and munch the rest of the apple, tossing the core into the wooded strip separating the backyard from the highway. I catch a glimpse of the bird-feeder, and it's still full. Finches and cardinals swoop in, take their fill, and dart back into the woods.
Cat is still asleep. I know they'll be irritated with me for the noise it will make, but I bring out my clippers. I set out my tarp and clipper set in front of the full-body mirror at the foot of the basement steps, and cut my hair. I'm stripped to my underwear. First, the sideburns (really, they're what most would consider muttonchops) receive the treatment with the number 2. I scale down to the number 1 and raise the comb on the clippers a fraction of an inch. I shave my head close, followed by my chest and - hell, why not? - my pubes. You only live once, right? I clean the clippers, sweep the clippings into the trash, and fold the tarp, putting everything back where it belongs. I bring out my electric shaver, and soon I have a cleaner face and touched-up sideburns.
I put my pajamas back on, and bring a towel and a change of bed-clothes with me to the shower. I bathe slowly, making sure to remove all the minescule hairs still clinging to me after my haircut. The soap is a peppermint castille, and I am sure to thoroughly scrub my entire body with my the gentle bristles of my shower gloves. My nostrils fill with the scent of the mint, and my scoured skin crackles with mentholated vibrations.
I make my way back downstairs, my old, hair-covered clothes in one hand, my towel round my neck. The rest of the house is still asleep, and I pad through the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen, to finally head back down to my room.
Cat has since moved to their favourite morning spot: sitting in front of the sliding door, grooming itself, while the curtain is open. Their fur is a halo of golden yellows and oranges. I leave them to it and instead resume my own grooming. Today, I treat myself to a fresh toothbrush. Once done with the toothbrushing, I run my tongue over my teeth, and they are smooth and strong.
It's too nice a day for me to start it off by touching the computer, so I grab a book at random from the shelf. Well, wouldn't you know it? It's the Ursula K. LeGuin translation of the Tao Te Ching.
During the next hour, I join the cat by the sliding door, laying on my stomach while I read. The sun eventually rises above the edge of the deck above the sliding door, and now the sunlight is reflected by the emerald green of the grass that still grows long in the yard.
There's still enough time for another cup of coffee before I head to the cinema. I pour one on, then rejoin the cat by the door, petting and stroking idly. By the fussing it makes I'm reminded that it's breakfast time, so I rattle some dry food in one bowl, then half a can of wet food in the second bowl. Water is refilled, and the cat is satisfied, resolutely munching on its first course.
While Cat is eating, I make the bed, folding the blankets and placing them neatly at the foot of the bed. I pick out my clothes for the day: black jeans, green t-shirt, and the black-and-brown button-up dress shirt with the patch on the left elbow. I tie my leather boots on. I finish the last of the coffee and crunch down a handful of walnuts and almonds.
Time to head to the cinema. This weekend, they're showing a revival of "Donny Darko," and I don't want to miss it. I grab the laser-cut emblem I made for the theatre, put on my fleece vest, grab the keys, and stop myself before I forget my phone. After checking it for any errant messages (there are two, but since they're not from my mother I'll deal with them later), I ensure that it's silent. I tuck it into an internal pocket of my vest and it will be forgotten in there for the next several hours.
I step outside to the car, and cloud-cover and gentle breeze have sprung up out of nowhere. I grin, and make sure the windows are down in the car as I begin to drive. Along the way, I make sure Slayer, Discharge (the classic early-80's stuff), and Ketzer are playing. My hands thump along on the steering wheel and I shout along to the lyrics I know.
I find a spot near the cinema, rolling up the windows. I purchase my ticket from the box office and step inside the historical picture house. I chat with the theatre manager, handing over the wood plaque a the start of the conversation. He raves about it, stating he'll hang it by the door leading from the foyer into the concession lobby. We chat about the coming autumn, I share my appreciation for their revival series, and I buy my usual large coffee and medium popcorn.
With a wave, I mention, "See you after, man." I'm prepared to step into another world for two hours.
Someone, a woman, calls out my name. "Didn't you get my message?"
I recognize her, and we hug. "Sorry, I didn't check it," I reply. "You know how I am."
"Yeah," she responds with a wry grin. "But I knew I'd see you here."
"Want some popcorn?" I ask. We sit in the middle of the middle row, no one directly in front of us. She lifts the armrest out of the way, and we lean in closer to one another.
That's a wonderful morning.