September 3, 2017 some time…well before dawn. Not to be confused with “sometime” well before dawn; as in, some notable event that occurs occasionally at a particular time before sun-up. But rather some time, as in an actual increment of time that isn’t specifically known preceding the sun cresting the horizon. That doesn’t make sense I don’t think…anywho, it’s really damned early… especially on a Sunday morning.
It would be nice to say that one’s eyes “fluttered” open. Greeting the day with the equivalent effort of giving butterfly kisses to a small child. In truth butterfly kisses: the act of batting ones eyelids quickly and thus giving rapid gentle swipes with one’s eyelashes mimicking a butterfly’s wings, makes no sense. Have you ever actually seen a butterfly fly? Their flight pattern is sporadic at best and all over the place. A true butterfly’s kiss would probably consist of a few randomly placed eyelash swipes accompanied by several head-butts. Regardless there are no butterflies here.
Instead they open slowly, one at a time. Wearily and warily adjusting to the semi-darkness and taking in the depth of the room around. One must be wary when waking (though not necessarily weary). There could be a spectral vision, small aliens looking for a specimen or, worst case scenario, a bear. That snuck into the room in the night and is just waiting for you to make the first move. WHEW! Coast is clear, no ghost of an anal probing bear anywhere, so it’s time to safely greet the day…but why so early?
Growing up in a factory house will do that to you. No, the house of my youth wasn’t a factory modified to be a living structure…that would have been super neato. “I’ll be in the warehouse area riding my bike…whooohooo!” Actually both parents were factory workers, so the day always began before dawn…even though I was just a little kid and couldn’t earn a steady wage, I didn’t get extra sleep either.
Despite the early hour, today is different. Today my numbers turn into a classic, Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry movie clichéd one-liner. Today I leave the bed as… “A .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and it can”…ohhh slow it down… just a bit… I’m feeling every bit of my caliber this morning. Suck it up old man; quietly slip into some clothes and out of the room. We’ve woken up, now it’s time to actually wake up.
There’s something of a magical quality to being the first one up on a weekend morning. No pitter-patter of little feet, no scurrying of littler furry feet. A calm, resolved silence settled all-round the house, held in place by a dim comforting darkness. And through this dimwitted darkness a faint glow summons. Tis the maker of coffee and it is percolating. Not to say it is dancing and shaking the equivalent of its bottom (the carafe perhaps?). But it is brewing coffee. What a nice mundane way to start this somewhat special day.
Now for some breakfast, first course: one Clairtin, two ibuprofens, three aspirin and a sweet tea chaser; yesterday was kinda rough. That should help soothe out the aches and age. Now for a cup a Joe and a cigar, which I’ll take on the back patio, thank you kind sir. On the way out, my new (as in new to me) recurve bow is obtained, an early gift from my sweet spouse and sweeter little kid person. Being a writer, it’s a Shakespeare brand, of course. It’s a vintage piece of archers’ equipment circa the early 60’s. As we get older a lot of us like to surround ourselves and make use of items that are close to the same age or older than ourselves. I believe this is a way to encourage ourselves to carry on, i.e., this bow is over 50 years old, it’s in great shape and stills works beautifully, so what’s my excuse for not doing the same? But for now let’s just sit and watch the bats circle overhead, as they flee the onslaught of coming morning.
Caffeine is ingested and, in considering my current age predicament, my thoughts drift towards a fellow FOCUS writer; more specifically a column penned by the lovely and talented Sara Mawyer on the subject of retirement. Yes, that’s still roughly two decades away but still… When the time comes will there still be Social Security to secure me? Will I be secure enough to be social? How much money should I save? Will I enjoy retirement or just sit around awhile then die? What if I die before I retire… would I be eligible for early benefits?
These troubled and compelling thoughts are, along with a half-empty cup, pushed aside. There are some things to worry about and others to be saved for another day. So let’s fight the battles we can, while we can, so we’re practiced and ready for the war when it comes.
Clenching the cooled stub of the cigar in my teeth (Eastwood style of course) I rise to my feet with nary a grunt. Taking up Shakespeare, taking a stance, now load and draw. The still smooth texture of the fiberglass wood grain against the palm, curved to and still holding perfection. Feel the pull and strength of the antique bowstring in your fingers as its pulled taunt. Deep breath, focus, exhale slowly, take aim and… release; swift silence ending with a soft puncture—bullseye!
Yes, I think this old bow still works just fine and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Happy Birthday to me!!!
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!
Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!