Early Morning

I awake, as I usually do at the nagging of my bladder, at around four in the morning. Only this time, the harsh cutting stench of skunk fills the air. For a moment, in my cloudy confusion, I wonder if the creature had broken into the house. Shaking off that nonsense, I just groan inside. I do my usual windmill move to throw myself from my back to one foot landing on the floor next to my side of the bed. Landing successfully, I stagger out of the room and down the hallway, left hand feeling the wall along the way so as not to slam into a door jamb or worse, hurl down the stairway opening that gaped ahead on my left. The smell in the hallway is a little less intense as my brain quickly computes that the rodent's vile emission must have occurred a little while ago. Into the dark bathroom, I take care of the real reason for my nocturnal journey, trying my best not to let my brain start processing a million thoughts and sequences. I desperately hope for another two hours' sleep. I stagger back down the dark hall, find my side of the bed, and gently ease in to avoid disturbing my sleeping bride of three decades.

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