Listening through cotton, the dryer whirls comfortingly down the hall. The clacking tells me there is at least a handful of tooth-fairy money and probably some Legos churning away with the jeans and newly clean gym clothes. I can hear Bean downstairs discussing the merits of Doctor Eleven over Ten, and garbled interjections from Abby’s softer voice. The peanut butter toast and canned pears I placed on the table are long gone, and crumpled and torn homework papers should soon be fished from the bottoms of backpacks, smelling like every elementary school ever- the odd mix of bananas, dust, glue, sweat and industrial disinfectant. I just can’t stomach it tonight.
In my room, the wide swath of comforter wafts out before me, and my bedside lamp is warm and low. The very late setting sunlight dares to break apart a the damp clouds that have had a death-grip on my sky all day, and shards of thin sunlight break through the curtains. My laptop hums softly cradled on my bent knees, while random Pinterest flotsam and jetsam wanders across the pane behind this one.
My iPod is making a Genius mix that is oddly brilliant, and I idly wonder how that’s possible- it’s too accurate, actually, and I have to shut it off before I throw it across the room. Sometimes music is the balm for my soul, and sometimes it’s like having my heart peeled with a knife- but it’s never wrong. No matter what, a song comes on I need to hear, even when I don’t want to listen.
Deep pink shadows fall over the railing and down the stairs from the paper lantern over Abby’s bed, and I move my feet absorb the residual warmth from where she had been flopped a few moments ago. I wasn’t as interesting as her brothers’ conversation, and she floated off with the pink light, clutching my ragged childhood copy of Charlotte’s Web. Dear lord, I love that girl.
Nothing went right today. Nothing whatsover. So by dinner time, it was toast and pears, and cozy nestling in instead of fighting it. Sometimes, I’m just too weary to pick it up and keep going. Just for today. Just for tonight. All day I waged battle, all day I tried to tackle Life, and now… now I am tired. Now, I am laying down my battle gear, scarred and worn to the shapes of my needs, my calluses, my strengths, and my weaknesses— I submit to the night, until the sun rolls around the eastern sky again.