Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset. . .What's the Difference?

I’m of the opinion that if you don’t see the sun rise over the ocean at least once in your life, you can’t get into heaven. It might not be on your bucket list, but it deserves a place on your sand pail and shovel agenda.

The Captain says today’s sunset is tomorrow’s early sunrise, so there’s no need to get up when dew is forming on the newspaper just to see one. If you’re upset about the direction, look at it in a mirror.

Our priorities are different. His are wrong.

Vacationing at the beach, I undertook to secure him a spot on the scenic side of the pearly gates when he finally goes to the big place computer techs go when they die, and although I’m uncomfortable mentioning gates and windows in that context, I don’t mean a big room with lots of windows and a high speed Internet connection and a billion users that know how to synch their own Blackberry.

It was 7:00 a.m. The sunlight streamed in the window like it was on a video loop. The Captain’s face was one with the pillow and held the relaxed, peaceful air of a summer firefly in the meadow.

Time to get up.

But how to facilitate the waking process without also calling the enemy to battle? He doesn’t always show the proper appreciation for my efforts to initiate husband-wife bonding time. After the last unpleasantness, I decided not to use the car alarm ploy again. The policeman that issued the warning seemed adamant about the possibility of a future fine.

Law enforcement officers that have gone all white around the mouth do not always make their point clear, so I’ve never been sure if the greater infraction was disturbing the peace or indecent exposure. And the fire was already out when they arrived, so that wasn't a factor.

I sat in bed, resting against the wicker headboard, celebrity magazine in hand. I try to improve my mind, even when my body is on vacation. You can’t fight too hard in the fashion battle, and this issue focused on Jessica Simpson’s shoes. Flipping pages like they were fan blades, I glanced over at the Captain. I’ve patented a look that will freeze jalepeno poppers, but to be considerate, I set my eyes to stun.

No response.

I cleared my throat meaningfully.

No response.

I repositioned myself repeatedly due to an uncomfortable wrinkle in the linens.

No response.

Inspired by the sheets, I succumbed to a previously undiscovered allergic reaction to thread count.

With a snort, he turned to face the other wall.

Somewhere on another street, possibly in another town, an unknown hand flipped a switch on a small countertop appliance, and a dark beverage began a slow drip into a pyrex pot. Nobody gives a wake up call like Mr. Coffee. Captain Caffeine sensed the change in the atmosphere immediately. If they could train him to sniff out bombs like he can track down freshly brewed coffee, he would always have a job as an airport monitor.

He sat up, sucking in air like Smokey the Bear on the trail of a forest campfire.

I padded to the kitchen and back bearing a cup filled with the drink that never sleeps.

He burst from the bedclothes like Superman from a 50’s era phone booth. “So, wanna go see the sunrise?”

“Sure, but you’d better gas up the car.”


“Because we’d have to travel three time zones toward the west to get a glimpse.”

He took a long drink from his mug. Some women go their whole lives without the caress that the Mickey Mouse on that cup was getting. The Captain leaned his head back and closed his eyes with a look of complete serenity.

“That’s okay. We’ll catch the next one tonight. Got a mirror?” He took a draw of coffee that made Mickey’s ears stretch and shot a boyish smile at me from across the room.

Just my luck. I have a plan to get to heaven and he finds the door right here on Earth.

No comments: