March 4, 2017
Into the Deep – Chapter 2. Into the Day
I just posted a new chapter for my memoir Into the Deep:
Peeved with myself for getting bent out of shape over having damp hands and wrists, I head downstairs to the kitchen. My posture feels strange today. I’m stooped and leaning a little to one side. I hold my head tilted a little to the left, and I bend forward slightly as I shuffle to the top of the stairs and reach for the banister. My movements are jerky, not fluid. And everything feels like it’s moving in the slowest of slow motion.
I’m feeling clumsier than usual this morning, and as I move slowly down the stairs, I hang on tightly to the railing. A dull roar is rushing in my ears, and I feel like I’m 75 feet under water. I try to move quietly, but the creaking of the wooden stairs screeches through my head like nails on a chalkboard. No matter how lightly I try to walk, the wooden steps complain at my weight. Despite the muffled effect on my ears, my hearing is acute… painful… picking up everything around me like a high-powered lavaliere microphone. As I descend from the second floor, the creaking and screeching and scraping doesn’t make it easier for me to keep my balance. It’s distracting, keeping me from concentrating on Just One Thing – my descent.
It feels like everything is conspiring, this morning, to prevent me moving smoothly into my day, and waves of frustration churn in the back of my mind. I can’t indulge that emotion right now, though; I force myself to concentrate on keeping my balance so I don’t fall. It’s more important that I reach the bottom of the stairs, than that I feel positive about the whole experience.
Near the bottom of the stairs, the light switch protrudes from the wall and rakes my knuckles, and I silently curse whoever built this house for putting the switch where it can hurt my hand. I’ve bruised myself on that switch numerous times – especially in the first weeks after my partner and I first moved in – and I’ve gotten in the habit of moving my hand away from it at the bottom step. But today I forgot, and my knuckles are paying the price.
At last, I reach the bottom of the stairs. Our two cats are waiting for me in the kitchen. They await with great expectation, knowing that our routine is the same every morning. First, I’ll put water on for coffee, then I’ll feed them their first wet food of the day, make my cup of coffee, sit down and write notes (sometimes petting the cats who come over for attention)… then I’ll head back upstairs and get in the shower, get dressed, check in with my beloved to wish her a good day, and head out to work.