Thursday, March 21, 2013

Insomniac, Part 23

It was Saturday. Harold had a whole day with nothing to do but sleep. He'd gotten up at 5:37 am, showered, made breakfast and went back to bed. He slept, thankfully, until he was done sleeping. By the time he opened his eyes to the light shining around the edges of his blinds, it was 11:23am. He put on a pair of tattered gym shorts and went downstairs to get something to eat. Lunch already and he'd lost half the day.

Harold wondered how he could be so excruciatingly exhausted after work yet wake up the minute the house got quiet at 10:17 pm. He wondered how he could sleep half the day away on weekends, yet feel like he'd lost something when they were over. Sometimes information exhausted him, like finding out last night that Hilly had been doing his math homework but forgetting to turn it in. He was sure Hilly had a mental block about math. He could do it. He just didn't think he could do it. The worst part of it was that Victoria had told Hilly that algebra didn't exist in the real world. Her real world, maybe, but Harold hadn't been able to think of any examples to refute her statement. Good jokes were like that too. The minute you needed a good joke, the punch line of the one you'd heard on the radio on the way to work evaporated. Or the punch line was all that remained and you couldn't think how to get to it. Harold knew that he'd inadvertently used algebra to figure out some tricky problem when he was repairing the stairs on the deck last summer, but he couldn't think what it was any more. Harold blamed his head injury for that, but he really knew he'd been that way before the accident.

He got a lot of mileage out of his head injury though. It helped that he had a four by four patch of very short hair on the back of his head where the gash had begun to heal. Thirty-two stitches, they told him, but the line, when he'd used two mirrors to look at it, only seemed to be about two or three inches long. Still, his boss had yet to ask anything of him at work. That wasn't a big deal, though. He was in between deadlines anyway. When a new design was in development, there wasn't much to do but learn what the guys intended to call features, and even that could change with the customer's whims.

He put eggs into the nonstick pan that stuck anyway and walked around the house to find Hilly and Victoria. Gone, both of them. No notes either. He'd have to try to remember to yell at them for that. They really should leave notes for him. By the time he walked back into the kitchen, the eggs were done, over done on the bottom and still gooey on the top. He'd forgotten to put a lid on them. He scraped what he could off the bottom of the pan and scrambled what he'd intended to be an omelet. He sprinkled shredded cheese and pepper onto them and he'd never taste the difference. Cleaning the pan would be a bitch though. He put the eggs onto a clean plate from the dishwasher. Why didn't he just buy another dishwasher and go back and forth between them. Why did he need cabinets for his dishes anyway? It was just more work to put them away over and over.

Harold put the dirty pan into the sink and ran some water into it. A little dish soap, a soak and eventually, the eggs would come unstuck until the next time he wanted an omelet.

He looked around the house. He couldn't stay here in the house. It was too pathetic. There was nothing on TV on Saturdays. He didn't want to get his oil changed or start finding the paperwork for taxes. He grabbed the leash, put it on the dog who appeared from no where at the jingling, and prepared to walk down to the Arboretum for another walk. It was his usual Saturday afternoon routine. It woke him up and made him feel as though he'd done something useful with his weekend. The dog loved it and shimmied with gratitude. That was the good thing about owning a Golden Retriever. They were just so damn grateful.

Thank you for listening, jules


No comments:

Post a Comment