E-e-e-e-e-e-bing-bing-bing, beeeeppp! It starts the first thing in the morning, dreary skies or wake-up-the-world golden sunshine slice through cracks in the shutters.

I open a reluctant eyelid and squint at Mr. G, tinkering with his hearing aid.

He dresses in the semi-darkness so that he doesn’t awaken me, and then steps out into the hallway.

Moments later dishes clatter as they slam against one another as he unloads the dishwasher. That’s the reason I bought china made of space-age material—to avoid chips in the plates, bowls and saucers. Silverware clinks as it is dropped into its place. He never gently puts things down. He actually slams bananas. Inadvertently I caught that on tape once when photographing wildlife outside the living room window. As I turned the camera toward him the image I picked up was the man of the house forcefully depositing a banana next to a bowl.

Now for the sonar breakfast. Beep, beep, beep. The microwave oven announces that the master’s oatmeal is ready. The toaster clicks. He clunks down the bowl, a plate and spoon clatter onto his placemat.

But wait — the newspaper. The door bangs as Mr. G’s sprightly gait takes him to the driveway to pick up the hefty bundle. There is another bang of the door as he returns. A loud slap connects the paper with the dining table.

Breakfast is over with the scrape/clink of the spoon in the bowl, as he gets the last lump and the last drop of whatever he pored onto his cereal. It varies. Sometimes it’s cranapple juice, or it could be milk, or soymilk. Dishes are thrown into the sink and Mr. G is out of there, well into his planned daily activities, whatever they may be.

Luckily, his toys are in the garage — except for the z-gauge train (the engine is about two inches long) on the countertop between the kitchen and dining area. It’s a ritual for him to run that train around the track a few times to start his day.

Back in the bedroom, if I want to find out what’s going on in the world, I click the TV on to listen to the light banter of a talk show, hoping that that’s all it is, and not a catastrophe that has pre-empted the time slot.

Me? Oh, I’m still in bed, appreciating the fact that a loud bell or buzzer on a clock did not jolt me to my feet. I’ve done that, and I don’t want to do it again.

I know. I’m lucky. Thousands of women would happily trade places with me. The sound effects are a small price to pay — except for that awful
H-O-O-O-I-C-K-K-K! I’ll never get used to it.
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