Earl Pickles and Me--Why I've Been Up Since 4 a.m.

Yeah, I’m a little bit grouchy this afternoon (it’s 3 p.m. here on the West Coast).  For the last 2 weeks I’ve been sleeping solo because my wife has been off on a visit to her best friend in North Carolina.

So I’ve been keeping things going here and trying to stave off feeling just a little bit sorry for myself about being “Home Alone”.  I’ve been maintaining the same kind of “hours” that I always do—up about 6:30.  Drink coffee, read the paper and get ready for the day.  Then dinner, fall asleep on the couch, wake up and schlep into bed about 11.  HoHum—what a boring life, right.  Yeah, I think I'm turning into Earl Pickles.

So everything’s been going fine.  I managed to get Carolyn’s indoor plants outdoors for a little fresh air and water the other day which made my wife happy in her daily calls to make sure that 1) I’m still alive, 2) I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to be doing and 3) that I really, really miss her.

You know, I’m the Cheap Bastid and I finally figured out (again) that when you’re cooking for one, you just don’t have a whole lot of motivation.  It’s kind of a pain in the ass but it’s still better than going out for “carry-out” food—both in terms of quality and cost.  Hell, even your basic burger joint meal still costs more than anything you can cook as long as you’re not doing lobster or ribeye.

Yeah, so everything’s been going fine.  In fact, one benefit is that I’ve been enjoying having a major league baseball game on TV in the evenings—nothing beats the sound of a ballgame in the background for “company” when you’re by yourself.  The only problem is that the San Diego Padres are “major league” in title only—certainly not in performance.

So last night, I got up and toddled off to bed at about 11—after that final, obligatory pee to ensure that I “make it through the night” (life’s a bitch at 60).  I cozied down into the bed—my side and fell off to sleep again with the bedroom TV softly playing re-runs of “Swamp People”. 

Until 4 o’clock.

At 4 a.m. something woke me up.  It was a whooshing noise in the bedroom like something falling.  I peered into the darkness (of course, my bifocals are sitting on top of the dresser) and saw a dark apparition leaning over me.  What went through my head?  “WTF……”  Whatever it was that was lurking there wasn’t really moving.  So what was it?  I squinted harder.

It was my wife’s “tree”.  The tree that stands in the corner behind the desk scraping the ceiling in all its spindly glory.  Scared the hell out of me!  I eased out of bed and slowly lifted the foliage so I could get under it.  Awwwwwww geesh!  Somehow it had just decided to lean over.

So, I went to the kitchen and got a “twisty-tie” to fasten it to the 6 foot stake that’s supposed to hold it up.  And thought I’d go back to bed.  But I didn’t want to.  It was 4 a.m. and now I was wide awake.

You know, it used to be 4 or 5 years ago that 4 a.m. TV was pretty good.  But no more.  It used to be at 4 a.m. that there would be a couple of channels running an “informercial” with 2 or 3 buxom young ladies sitting on a couch with various tall bulky phallic symbols sitting around telling some guy about how “size does matter” and here’s a product that you can buy to get more size.  Or there’d be an infomercial about how your colon and intestines get all impacted with un-expelled feces and how we’ve all got upwards of 20 pounds of it.  Hey, I know I’m full of crap!

But they’re not on anymore.  And the newspaper wasn’t going to be delivered for another 2 ½ hours.  So I punched the button to start the coffee maker and sat there watching the umpteenth re-run of the Olympic swimming.  Eyes wide open.  I went out and had a cigarette—4 a.m. is really a cool time to be outside.  It’s really quiet and there’s a hint and promise of a glorious morning to come.  But it’s just too damned early unless you’re about to launch a boat to go out fishing! 

So I’ve been up since 4 a.m.  I’m getting grouchy.  And I’m going to stay up until at least 10 tonight because I don’t want to mess up my sleep cycle.  When Carolyn calls in 3 or 4 hours I’ll tell her about my adventure with the tree.  It used to be we had a lot more fun adventures in bed than that but this is about as good as it gets when you’re 60 and home alone.

Damn tree. 

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Comment by Margaret Feike on August 13, 2015 at 8:42pm

Loved this reflection on being home alone at 60. I'm glad your "intruder" turned out to be handled with a twisty tie. I'll bet your wife can't wait to see you again.

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