Friday, February 24, 2012

Alarmed and Dangerous

Last Friday morning I awoke from my deep slumber with a horrible start. Sitting up in bed, I realized my dear wife had just kidney punched me. Looking over at her, I briefly contemplated retribution, but, as the fog lifted, thought better of it. Instead, I asked in a bearish manner, "What was that for?" In an alarmed voice she said, "Aren't you supposed to open the cafe this morning?" Still a bit discombobulated by the rude awakening, it took me a moment to gather my wits. Laurie waited patiently as I marshaled the facts and evaluated the variables and possibilities, suddenly realizing that, yes, I was indeed supposed to open. Gaining momentum, I blurted out, "Why, am I late? Did I sleep in? What time is it anyway?" She responded, "The clock says 5:50. I thought you were supposed to be showered, shaved, dressed for success and out of here by 6:15. I know how you hate to be late." Jumping out of bed, I said, "I'm under the gun, but I will make it. Thanks Honey!" At that moment, my compact white alarm clock, which sets on the night stand next to the bed, started beeping. I picked it up, turned it off and squinted at the illuminated dial. It read 5:30 a.m. I looked over at the clock my wife was counting on, which was resting on the chest-of-drawers. It read 5:52 a.m. "Have you been messing with the clocks again," I asked. "Maybe," Laurie wavered as she rolled from the quilted flat-top and hustled into the safety of the girl's bathroom.

Rumbling and grumbling to myself, I stumbled downstairs to the "man cave" bathroom. I knew for a fact that it was Laurie's funky fixation with altering the future that had caused me such a pain in the . . . lower back. Laurie hates to be late as much as I, she just deals with it differently. My wife has this belief that she can realign time by setting the house clocks forward 10, 12 or even 20 minutes. Each clock deals with specific time constraints, and the dials are modified accordingly. I learned long ago never to count on any clock under her control. I mostly rely on my well tuned inner timepiece and the little white alarm. The trick is to keep my back-up out of Laurie's hands. My wife's system allows her to be on time even when she's late, but it does not work for me.

After cleaning up, I felt better about things and was almost ready to forget that sucker punch Laurie had dealt me and forgive her obsession with time. As I combed my still wet hair, I heard the upstairs shower spring to life and knew Laurie was taking her turn at the well. Waiting a few minutes to let her settle in and begin enjoying the warm shower, I got a grip on the hot water faucets in both the sink and the shower. In one synchronized, swiftly executed movement I redirected the heated water from the upstairs bathroom to the man cave. To her credit, she did not scream out loud. I did, however, discern a quick-step shuffle from the tub overhead. "Take a little time to enjoy a cold shower," I said out loud, and continued, "Maybe that will stimulate your memory." When I went upstairs, Laurie did not say a word about her run-in with the icy cold mist or let on that she had heard my comments. As I left the house, she kissed me sweetly and said, "Drive safely, and call me when you arrive."

Driving south, I began feeling guilty about my despicable actions. When I arrived on the Bluff bench, I looked to the east, where, at that time of day, there is generally an attractive sunrise making its assault on the horizon. I hoped that might make me feel better and ease my guilt. Looking past Recapture Ridge, I saw a frosty silver glow beginning to creep up the northern flanks of Sleeping Ute Mountain. Above the knees of the stretched-out Weeminuche, the upper atmosphere was the color of a deep blue sapphire. There was cloud cover that looked as if some giant scholar had tipped over a massive ink bottle; an irregular dark black stain smudging the horizon, a Rorschach test resembling an ominous owl. High above the Ute's moccasins was a rip of moon, a "cat claw" sliver of pure gold. The scene was inauspiciously impressive, and the ink cloud owl and cat claw moon just made me feel worse. These were surely signs that I had been wrong, and that an apology must be made, sooner rather than later.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team

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