Waking up this morning, I feel strange. Not sick strange or impending doom strange. Rather, I am feeling unusually young, carefree, and happy. And this is strange. Not because I’m an old, rigid, unhappy person but because I don’t generally do well in mornings. There will be no hitting snooze and hiding under the pillows while worrying about mortgages or loans or managing my business or relationship woes. Life stress eludes me this morning.
Immediately alert and awake, I cheerfully roll over and give Bal a good morning kiss. Instinctively, he flinches in fear that his real girlfriend that he has woken up beside over the last 8 years is suddenly going to reappear. But I just laugh.
He looks quizzically over at me. “Did I sleep in? Have you already had coffee and watched Coronation Street? What’s going on?”
I don’t blame him for being confused. He normally can’t so much as get a grunt out of me until after my Sunday dose of coffee and Corrie. But today is different for some reason. I feel youthful and alive. As the sun shines subtly through our red drapes and a warm glow permeates the bedroom, the reddish tinge reminds me of our recent trip to the American Southwest. This gets us chatting about all of our travels over the past few years. We lay in bed and laugh, recalling some of the more hilarious foibles in our travels. Then I am ready for caffeine.
Laughing about a taxi driving off with our only guidebook, I energetically bound out of bed to go brew some coffee. “Nice Ass!” Bal teasingly calls upon my exit from the bed. As young and as spirited as I feel today, I playfully respond with an animated bootie shake to showcase his point. I am certain I look exactly like Beyonce, rhythmically shaking her smooth, perfectly round tooshie in a mini skirt. Encouraged by my own sense of bravado, I wiggle some more.
That is until my knees make a seemingly deafening ‘Crack’. I want to stop. I’m pretty certain Beyonce doesn’t crackle. But instead I attempt to over-compensate for the loud cracking with a wilder shake. Maybe Bal will not have noticed. My booty swings right, then swerves left and then back again until there is a horrifying accordion like crescendo as my back also cracks and then grinds and crinkles too. “Ewwww. That was nasty!” Bal chortles.
Carrying too much momentum to stop outright, I clasp onto my lower back and carefully slow down my bone cracking wiggle. Now stopped, I stand hunched over, right arm holding my lower back, left arm grasping my knees in despair. Gradually, not yet sure I can face my man, I turn my weary body around and look desperately towards Bal.
Looking like Sylvester caught in the act of eating Tweety, his cheeks bulge out and tears want to emerge as he tries to hold his laughter. In an instant, my youthful energy is gone. I want to be pissed off at him. I want to tell him he’s a jerk for laughing. I want to tell him he’s balding. But in that instant, I catch a glimpse of my hunched self in the mirror. It is in that moment, that I am eternally grateful that it is the cracking that has him laughing. It could be worse. It could be the cellulite. And with that, I dive back into bed, hide under the pillows and grunt.
“Yes honey. I’ll go make you some coffee.” Bal chuckles and I don’t see him again until all of his tears are dried.