My husband has a predictable morning routine.
The alarm goes off at six. It’s a gentle sound, but it wakes me up briefly. He gets up – no snooze button! – and heads to the kitchen to make breakfast, closing the bedroom door behind him. He often feeds the cats – they join him as he meanders through his morning – and pours himself a glass of bubbly water while his coffee is dripping from the Keurig. He might make eggs and toast, or toast and granola cereal, or peanut butter on toast. “Yeah, toast,” he probably says to himself.
Sometimes, he’ll eat his breakfast at the kitchen counter. He used to eat at the table, but I’ve noticed the bar stool pulled back many mornings lately.
If the house is really cold, he might take his breakfast with him as he heads to the bathroom. There, he likes to sit on the floor with a towel around his shoulders – catching the heat from the vent and funneling it to his upper body. (He’s done this for years!) He’ll read headlines and news articles from his phone until it’s time to hop in the shower. After that, he gets dressed, pours himself a bottle of bubbly water for the road, and comes back into the bedroom to kiss me goodbye. By now, it’s around 7:10am. Then off to work he goes.
On the Monday after daylight savings time, the plan changed slightly.
The alarm went off, and I heard myself groan aloud, “No!” He sat up and silenced the sound, and then remained on the edge of the bed for a moment, like he was trying to clear the sound-sleeping from his head. Then he and the cats left the bedroom, with him quietly closing the door behind him.
For whatever reason, I woke up a little later. The sky was still pitch-black, and I wondered why there wasn’t at least a glint of sun in the clouds. I pulled my phone off the nightstand to check the time, then bolted upright. That can’t be!
I left the bedroom. The kitchen was dark. I walked toward the bathroom, and could see the sliver of light from under the door. But I didn’t hear the shower running, so I knew to look for him on the floor. I opened the door and stepped into the bathroom, and sat on the edge of the jacuzzi tub in front of him.
“Do you know what time it is?” I asked. “Have you looked at your clock?”
He clicked the button to check the time. “Uh, whaat?” He was confused, as I knew he would be.
“It’s 12:53,” I said. Repeat: “It’s only 12:53.”
“Huh?” he asked incrediously. “What the heck?” He kept staring at his phone, then looked up at the round wooden clock on the bathroom wall.
“It’s 12:53,” I said again.
“But my alarm went off!”
“I know. But it’s only just past midnight!”
He followed me back to bed, and we crawled under the covers. And began to giggle, then laugh ’til our sides hurt.
“Why did my alarm go off?” Giggle.
“I have no idea!” I’m laughing hard now.
“But I’ve had my coffee! I’ve eaten my breakfast!”
“Why did my alarm go off?” He laughs some more. “I was surprised that I’d slept so soundly! I don’t think I’d even moved!”
“You probably didn’t. We’ve only been in bed a couple of hours.” Now I’m crying from the laughter.
As we begin to settle back into bed, one or the other of us chortles, which sends off another round of laughter. But slowly, the giggles subside. And soon I hear his deepening-sleep breathing. I smile and close my eyes.
The alarm goes off at six, and we both wake up and smile.
“Are you having more coffee?” I ask. He says yes, then takes the cats out as he closes the door behind him to let me sleep until 7:10am.