Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year’s Resolution: Captain’s Log, Day Two.

(This blog post comes from a writing prompt I answered at a Tuesday evening meeting. It is a work of fiction, just so you know.)

I stumble from the bed and stub my toe on the corner of the bedpost.

"Sorry," I say to the wooden frame, and then place my fingers to my lips. "Day two," I mumble. "Day two and you've already broken the promise you made."

"What?" My husband rolls onto his back, and tries to open his eyelids. "Did you say something?"

"Oh. Sorry. Did I wake you?" Shit. I'd done it again. "Nothing, honey. I just stubbed my toe and I was apologizing to the bed post. You know how it is."

“Yeah, I do." He runs his fingers through his beard and wipes his nose on his sleeve. "I think you need to stop that."

"I know, I know. I said I would. It's one of my resolutions..."

"Then stop saying you’re sorry, okay?" He rolls back over onto his side and pulls the cover over his head. I hear him mumble something, but he speaks into the bed sheets, so the words don't make it to my ears. I move around the bed, one hand on the mattress so that I can lift my offended toe off of the floor. It now throbs and pulses with pain. I place my hand on my husband's shoulder and shake him, gently.

His eyes pop open, and he lifts himself partly from the bed. "What? What happened?" The fear in his voice easily reaches my ears.

"Nothing honey. Sorry. Oops. I mean...I...I thought you said something. I was just trying to hear what you said." I slump onto the bed. "Sorry."


Lifting himself up on his elbows, he looks at me. "Doggone it, Sweetie. That's enough of the sorry. Don't you think?"

I do think. I think it every day. But I've been trying since I was a kid to stop apologizing to everything and everyone. "I know. I know. But forty some years of saying I'm sorry when I mean anything but that...it's a very hard habit to break."

My husband's eyes grow wide and he throws back the covers. He leaps to his feet and grabs the television remote. Placing it in front of him, he beings to warble Chicago’s classic, Hard Habit to Break…

I cover my ears with my hands. "No, no. Just no. I can't take it. I'll retract every sorry I ever said if you just stop. Right now."

He stops. He stares. "Do you mean it?"

"I do."

"Okay then. I'm going back to bed." He blows me a smooch, slides under the sheet, and pulls the blanket past his ears again. In less than a minute, the air rumbles with the sound of his snoring. As I pad into the adjoining bathroom to get ready for work, I look back at him, wondering how I had come to marry a man who could be so crazy one minute and dead asleep the next.

"Next year," I mumble to myself. "My resolution next year will be to learn to sleep at the drop of a hat."



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