It’s been the kind of morning where:
You know you mopped the kitchen floor last night but it’s sticky this morning, so you mop again.
You went to bed at 9 pm so you could get ahead of your second wind and also get ahead of the insomnia. You set the alarm to 4 am.
You woke up at 11 pm, 1 am, 2 am. At 2:30 am, you were burning up hot, so you opened the window. The yowling outdoor cat that sounds like the cat in the Coffins for Sale episode of "Sanford and Son” was out there. Yowling.
You woke up at 4. You reset the clock to 5.
You remembered your three deadlines for the day. You got up. You put on a bra (and all the other garments). To hell with a shower.
You decided you wanted salad fixins, so you opened the fridge, and your fresh tomato sauce fell out, splashed all over the floor. Thankfully, the container lid did NOT come all the way off, but a meatball popped out. Much of the sauce remains in the container.
Your kitchen now looks like a murder scene, and the indoor cat is licking the blood and eating the evidence.
You consider letting the cat lick the entire kitchen floor. You use environmentally safe, pet-friendly cleaners.
You mop again. The yowling cat is out there, again. Yowling. MEROWWWWW. Cold hands, warm chapel. You remember that, despite the fact that you are not funny at all, the only thing you'd have to do to make your Mom laugh would be to say those four words from that one episode. You miss her so much right now that you are ready to give up.
You are glad you didn't shower. Giving up after showering reeks of self-importance.
You think about your deadlines. You trade texts with a friend about Jaki Shelton Green. You make tea. Double Earl Grey, extra hot. You test the kitchen floor. You have panic pangs in your stomach, like a porcupine is bouncing around.
You burn your tongue on the tea. You're still alive.
You wonder why, though, on this kind of morning, when the floor is sticky and your tongue is burning and your mother isn't here to laugh at the stupid and deadlines are looming and you're sure the cat is somewhere, somewhere throwing up red vomit, you wonder why you even bothered to put on a bra.
Dartinia Hull lives in North Carolina and is a graduate the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. She has been published in MUTHA, The Bitter Southerner, CNN, Age of Awareness, The Charlotte Observer, CNN and iPondr.