Sunday, March 26, 2006

Couch, Bath, and Cereal

I managed to get a few things done around the house today, though not much. When I first began to wrap myself in a comforter and sit on the couch to keep warm, I felt like a prisoner, trapped and itching to get up and accomplish something worthwhile. It irked me to be so confined and tangled up, my movements restricted by the heavy blanket and the dogs weighing me down. Now I have become so accustomed to my post there that I hardly feel right anywhere else in the house. I can hardly wait to get my few chores out of the way so that I can plunk myself down and settle in with the phone on the coffee table in front of me and a good book in my lap. I tuck the yellow blanket under my legs, pull three layers of it over my lap. Lytton sprawls along my left leg, Patrick leans his head against my right side, and Benny drapes himself across the back of my neck.

Part of the experience this week, I now realize, had to do with the book I was reading, "Affinity." I finished it last night...a tale of 19th century London described on the back as having "perfect pitch in representing the bourgeois Victorian life, the puritanical misery of prisons in the 1870's, and the spiritualist subculture...." It was certainly all of that and more. Every day I lost myself in the dreary life of that prison and the relationship between the Lady Visitor and the prisoner, a young girl who was a medium. Today when I opened a different book, Margaret Atwood's "Cat's Eye" which is our book group assignment for tomorrow night, I found it quite lacking in style and content. I've read the book, actually twice, and loved it, but it didn't fit the whole scenario I become accustomed to. Sadly I got up and did laundry, put away dishes, and changed the sheets on my bed. I need time between books to adjust.

When the afternoon was winding down I filled the bathtub with hot water and got in for my daily soak. It is my warmest time of day. I lie there submerged as much as I can be in the claw foot tub and watch the light fade in the window. I see the tops of the trees disappear into the dark, and then the curtain blocks the outside completely, its white laciness becoming solid and opaque. The flourescent light takes over and the bathroom becomes a bright cave of steam and warmth, smelling of soap and shampoo, humming with the sound of the space heater. I've closed the door to keep in the heat and Patrick is just on the other side, waiting. The other two dogs are lying on my bed, but are also alert, also waiting for the sign. I don't rush, though, because they are patient. The door is a louvered bi-fold door, and when they hear the hair dryer, they will jump on the door to open it and bound inside. It's our routine.

Now I'm ready for what has become another part of my daily ritual--my evening bowl of cereal. When I did my grocery shopping Friday I bought Shredded Wheat, Cheerios, Grape-nuts, and a half gallon of milk. That was to add to my supply of Raisin Bran, Wheat Chex, Granola, and Oat Meal. The appetite supressant I got seems to be working to the extent that nothing appeals to me but cereal. I will say, though, that a person can eat a lot of cereal.

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