Sleep lifted quickly and I found myself lying awake in a dark room. I could have looked at the clock to check the time, but somehow I could already sense the hour. This was the hollow, weightless time when the night had long passed but the morning had yet(more) to begin. There was a quiet that saturated everything as if it had been left undisturbed for a long while. I listened to that silence for a moment and it listened back. It was like we shared a secret. After a few minutes I knew that I wasn't getting back to sleep.
"I'd better get going," I thought.
I gathered my things and dressed in the hallway so that I didn't wake up Ana. I passed the kitchen as I headed toward the door. No coffee, no breakfast, not yet. Those were for later, when the day actually started. This strange and special hour demanded its own pace.
I stepped outside into the night air. It had been a hot summer but the air at that moment was the coolest I had felt it lately. I drank it in like water as I walked down the city streets. My mind wandered as I walked. Even the early risers- the bakeries, the coffeehouses, the street cleaners- had yet to begin. With no one to see me or notice me, it was easy to forget myself and just take in the city. I found the river and started across the bridge. The sky was fading from cotton-gray to rose. I stopped in the middle of the bridge to watch it change.
I don't know how long I watched, but the sun was up now and so was the city. Ana would be awake and we'd have coffee.
Leaving words like graffiti on my hands, I've grown tired of it. I'm tired of your snarky comments, your back-handed compliments, and most of all, I'm tired of you.
There's always a time when you bounce away and then crawl back in, and each time I let yo(more)u back and back and-well, back again. Someday it'll stop. I'll turn and say, "hey, hasn't it been long enough for you to start cleaning up after your attitude?" (or 'crap', if I swore). Stop marking my hands. Stop ruining my day. Eventually, something will come and make sure you know how it feels.
(Even if that something is me.)