Just Scratching Around

Warm mug of coffee in hand,
my inner introvert stretches out
kicks his feet up, grabs a book,
and makes himself wide and flat
mischievously taking up space
that typically belongs to

Her.

Her. My better half.
She’s away now, for a few days
or five or six
or however many
her work pulls her to.

And here I am, spread out
wondering what to do next.

She is the set-point of
my days and nights.
She is the calibrating element
that keeps my orbit steady.

And now, like a space rover
in wool socks without its tether
I drift aimlessly across the hardwood
of this centuries-old flat on the North Side
that we inhabit together.

Our dog on the couch.
Our daughter at school. And I,
tumbling around a displaced sun.

I eat breakfast for lunch.
I scratch around in sweat pants and hoodie
and delay bathing and brushing
for an uncomfortable, concerning
amount
of
time.

But the most disorienting sensation
comes at the bookends of the night
seconds before sleep and after waking
when my soul and hers get to curl up
together and finally commune
without the interruption of their
human counterparts
that worry and tease and distract

from this perfect orbit
currently in disarray.

This post was previously published on Medium.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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Photo credit: istockphoto.com

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