Birdie thought it was interesting how she and Gerald were so very different in their approach to mornings. In fact, it was so interesting, she found herself clenching her jaw.
Birdie needed a bit of space in the morning. Some quiet solitude. Steeping time. Whereas, Gerald entered mornings at full boil. Birdie wanted to slip into her day quietly and easily without making any ripples in the pond of morning. She needed to test the water, dipping a toe in and perhaps just sitting on the bank for a while as the light threw sun pennies on the surface of the pond. Then, as she made peace with wakefulness, she would slowly wade in, testing her footing and allow the morning to baptize her into another day.
Gerald liked to run off the end of the dock and do a cannonball into his mornings. Unless Birdie was vigilant, he would knock her in, too. And vigilance, especially in the mornings, was terribly wearing. Birdie did her best to stay off Gerald’s radar screen. She would go through the necessary motions of preparing his breakfast, while keeping herself separate, so that Gerald would see no opportunity for conversation. Of course, it didn’t always work.
This morning, Gerald assailed Birdie with a query about diet versus exercise. He wanted to know if there were diets that took into account the caloric burn of exercise needed to offset caloric intake of food eaten. Why in the world would a person be thinking of something like that first thing in the morning? The mere thought of it wore Birdie out. The discussion of it–well, no wonder she was clenching her teeth.
When his phone rang, Gerald abruptly dropped the subject, clambered out of the pond, dried himself off, shaking the water from his eyes, and walked off into his day. He never looked back to see Birdie sputtering from water up her nose and swallowed the wrong way. It was no use for Birdie to try and sit on the edge and begin again. The real beginning had been used up. She’d been dunked.