Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 18
Single Lady
Kate Sims awoke early on Tuesday to Le Chat purring in her ear.  Begrudgingly, she slipped on a sweater and sleepily walked to the kitchen where she squeezed some jellied meat chunks into a bowl, dumped the plastic food casing in the bin, and promptly made her way back to bed.
When she woke again, an hour or so later, the room around her was cold.  David was already out of bed and she could hear the shower running in the en suite bathroom.  She burrowed under the covers and dozed until she was presented with a cup of coffee.
“Good morning!” said David.
She nodded in return and watched the steam rise form the mug.
Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up really early, she promised herself, as she promised herself every morning.  And if it’s nice out, maybe I’ll go running or something, too.  
A rumbling stomach brought her back to the kitchen, her moccasined feet padding lightly on the wooden floor.  As she waited for her bread to toast she admired her new aloe plant, a gift from her sister-in-law.  So weird that I have a sister-in-law, she thought to herself, so weird that I’m married. Funny how things just happen.  Before I know it, I’ll wake up and be sixty-five. Maybe.
The toaster snapped and the toast popped up.
Funny, this life, she thought as she took the butter from the fridge.
David was buzzing around the kitchen, gathering bits of paperwork, ironing a shirt, sending emails.  He was going away to celebrate Christmas with some friends.  After everything was in order, he kissed Kate goodbye and jollily left.
A day and a night all on my own.  She hadn’t been alone for twenty-four hours in over seven months and the idea of being a single lady for the evening was quite appealing.
As she got on with work, she began to weigh her options- how would she spend her brief single-lady life?  Would she have a wild dance party in the living room?  Would she take out all her art supplies and make a Christmas mural on the wall?  Perhaps she’d pop out for a drink at the pub and maybe she’d meet a new friend…  Or maybe she’d put on sweatpants and watch a movie that David would never want to watch with her.
What’s a girl to do?
It also occurred to her that she could sneakily unwrap all the Christmas presents her parents sent from the States and re-wrap them after discovering their contents, but that didn’t seem particularly exciting, either.
She drummed her fingers on the table and read an article about Bill Murray instead.
In the middle of the afternoon, she began to grow restless.  She buttoned her black velvet blazer, tied a cheerful scarf around her neck and went on a short walk.  The air was warm and humid and it brought her joy to stretch her legs and walk through the streets.

Upon arriving home, she decided she wanted to bake something and after taking an inventory of the cupboard she set to the task of chopping and sprinkling, mashing and mixing.
And an hour later, it was ready!  Delicious baked oatmeal with apples and mashed bananas.  The kitchen smelled like cinnamon and fruit pies.  She closed her eyes and inhaled, for a moment she felt like she was home.
Though it had been weeks, she still had a lingering cold- a chesty cough and, when tired, a bit of a fuzzy head.  To combat whatever germs were still holding tight within her, she drank a steaming cup of Lemsip.  Drinking it made her mouth turn down, its citrus-sweet taste offensive to her tongue.  To tame the nastiness, she drizzled a bit of Jameson in, too.  Cupping her hands around the mug, she pretended it was a hot toddy.
It was dark out, of course.  So dark.  It felt much later than it was and yet she had the whole night before her still.  Only three days until the solstice, she reminded herself.  Three days until days get longer.  She wondered how people in the far north- places like Iceland, Alaska and Sweden- handled the darkness.  She looked out the window at the cars driving past and the giddiness of spending the night as a single lady faded.  She felt very alone.
Again hungry, she began to prepare some pasta with a leftover bolognese sauce that David had made the night before from scratch.  It had been ages since she’d cooked for only herself and she ended up with the biggest plate of pasta she’d ever eaten.  Well, maybe.  Nonetheless, she ate it all and washed it down with a glass of red wine.
After dinner, she again flipped through the pages of Cereal.  I must remember to take pictures in the morning light tomorrow so I can post about the magazine on Thursday, she thought.  She admired the cover, the brownish-grey of the pine cone.  How strange but also how obvious that pine nuts come from pine cones.  She wondered how difficult it would be to harvest them and imagined it would be quite a lethal activity for manicured fingers.
With a sigh, she settled onto the couch with her laptop.  Just like the days when I was a single lady, she thought as she watched a really silly video that someone, somewhere, had made, edited, and then released to the world.  Who are these people? she wondered, what compels us to share so much with the world?  Are we happier now, connecting this way, or are we drowning in a glut of information and entertainment?  
She felt silly, too.  Small.  Humble.  Kind of pathetic.
The box from the gifts her family sent sat on the floor.  She’d heard somewhere that cats, like children, enjoyed playing with boxes, but Le Chat had shown no interest in this one.
Eventually, the evening disintegrated into the worst kind of Netflix binge and she decided to stop taking pictures.  For the next three and a half hours, she consumed television as most people do, half-heartedly, lazily.  So that’s what if feels like to be most people, she thought as she closed her computer and made her way to bed.  What an absolute waste of time.  
She lay diagonally on the bed, covering as much of the surface as her body allowed.
I’ll be better tomorrow, she promised herself.  She closed her eyes and lay quietly, waiting for sleep.

The End.

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