Written by request.
She’s already sitting on the couch by the time that I struggle out of the bedroom we share, still trying to wipe the last remnants of sleep from my eyes. I can’t even begin to imagine how she can manage to struggle out of the grasp of our sheets before noon on the weekends. My engine is a V8 on a cold day, slow to turn over, needing plenty of time to warm up. Hers reminds me of a scooter – always ready to spring to life, but occasionally running out of steam without warning.
I settle into the spot beside her on the couch, and she is immediately leaning up against me. Her hair feels slightly damp. She must have showered already. I slept right through the sound of the running water.
“What’re you up to?” she asks as I reach for my computer. I think she’s occasionally frustrated by how attached I am to the device. I’m not quite sure how to explain it; I’ve become accustomed to the extension of technology. My ritual begins each morning with checking my mail and various sites, catching up on what I’ve missed.
After a quick scan of my email headings, I reply. “I need to write some blog posts for next week,” I say, reaching up to rub her shoulder with one hand. “Any inspiration for me?”
She rolls over so she can look up at me as she lays across me. “Ooh! You should write about me!” she exclaims, a silly smile plastered across her face.
I smile back at her, despite the prompt. “Okay, but I need more than that!” I insist, as I’ve done so many times before. “I need a plot, not just a character!”
Her brow furrows in concentration as she consider this. I doubt that she’s even aware of how her face betrays her inner thoughts, but I can spot it now almost instantly. She thinks that I’m sensitive when I ask her about a bad day. I just think I’m being observant. But it’s nice to listen to her, to know that I’m not alone in life’s frustrations.
“I dunno,” she finally says. “Plots are harder.”
She’s right. Plots are harder. I struggle occasionally with plots; they either come to me in my mind, almost fully formed, or I muddle through pages after pages of nothing. This is why I need to throw a net on my ideas right away, to capture them and imprison them in an outline, before they can escape. “Well, what are you going to be doing in this story?” I try asking.
Her eyes are already closed again, though, as she cuddles in closer to me. “This,” she murmurs, before pressing her face into my shirt.
I gaze down at the keyboard, not quite sure how to write this. But it’s what she requested. I start clicking my fingers across the keys, putting down words, hoping that they’ll coalesce into something worthwhile.
“I did Jillian this morning,” she comments, about ten paragraphs in. I pause momentarily in my typing, glancing over at her. Her eyes are still shut and her face is still pressed against my stomach, slightly muffling her words.
Jillian is her set of workout videos. That must be why she showered already. I reach over and pat her on her stomach, my forearm slipping down to momentarily press against her chest. As always, I’m slightly thrilled by the casual intimacy, how this girl trusts me so deeply. And it goes both ways; I feel more comfortable around her than with anyone else, free to speak my mind and not fear an angry backlash or unprovoked attack. “Good for you,” I say sincerely.
She doesn’t even open her eyes at the touch of my arm. “You should do yoga with me,” she says, before turning over to press in further and get more comfortable.
I’ve heard this before. To be honest, I have wanted to try yoga – I have read multiple articles supporting its use for meditation and mental acuity. I just haven’t yet been able to bring myself to lay out on a mat and stretch myself into silly poses. “It could be fun,” I reply.
We should get up and start our day; the hours are already beginning to slip away. As always, I feel the drive to be productive rising up within me, whispering its insipid song. You’re wasting your time, it hisses to me. If you don’t get something done, this day is a waste, useless. I wonder if my couch companion also hears that little voice, inspiring a mixture of optimism and fear. Optimism that I can do something with my day, my time, my life; fear that it will all be for nothing, that I will have somehow failed to achieve. If she does hear that voice, she hides it better than I do.
But for a few minutes longer, we remain on the couch together, doing nothing. Sloth slowly deposits a miasma upon my soul, but it is pleasurable in small doses. Especially when I have someone to share it with.