When? he asked. When does middle age end and old age begin?

"When" he asked, " when does middle age end and old age begin?"

It took awhile to recover from his question.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ancient History: Beyond the Hedge; Shift worker morning

Shift worker morning;day off.

Groggy morning, woolly muffy morning no need to tumble down the stairs. I awake on the chesterfield, a dim ribbon of morning light from under the window blind ignites my bleary eyes. Rambling into the kitchen I see the residue of his morning pot of coffee still in the carafe at the back of the stove. I touch the glass side and feel the residual heat. I nuke it, add cream and return to my nest of covers. Savoring the aroma and heat I see the remnants of the sunrise as I swim forward into the day.

I consider my mental to do list. No time to linger. People close by; hands on my hair, my body; a bath is in order. Still cupping the coffee I drift towards the bathroom and while I wait I put the warm mug against my sinus and watch the tub slowly fill. "God , my shoulder hurts "I think as I tentatively begin to bend, twist and flex.

High on caffeine and restorative bathwater I dry quickly and pull on clothes-new clothes. The exhilaration of simple indulgences after a long period of unemployment lifts me from my fog. In spite of the weather outside, I rummage though the bottom of the closet for my favourite boots. I rifle through his drawer for wool work socks to make the footwear work.

At the bus shelter a young women with a rainbow hat waits. I notice her mitts are rainbow too. "Have you been here long?” I ask. “Not long but I expect the next bus soon” she says. She is my first conscious connection of the day. Her youth, her mittens, the wonderful whimsical messenger bag draped across her young frame make me warm to her and we talk. I talk, she talks. I notice the volume of traffic and then she tells me of a detour down this street in front of us, of an accident a fatal accident a few blocks away over night, of a barricaded crime scene. My ebullience gone I consider for the first time being late for my appointment. Sobered, I apologize for being so chatty as the bus pulls up.

I pass up a number of single seats and make my way to towards the back, up one step to a double seat. Seconds later, she slips in beside me and our conversation resumes.

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