Hauntings in the morning

by Lorin Michel Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:05 PM

It is early on Saturday morning as I write this. The birds haven’t even begun their song. The sun is hiding in the cloud cover, and the air drifting in through the kitchen window is tinged cool. There are no cars zipping by, no children’s laughter floating up. I hear no dogs barking nor do I see any strolling by with their owners. It’s the quiet time of the day and as much as part of me would like to be sleeping next to my still slumbering husband, I have to admit that I love this hour. It allows me to simply be for just a bit before the day and all of its trappings begin.

The coffee pot beeps five times indicating that it’s done brewing. In a minute, I’ll get up from my place here at the table and pour myself a cup. I love coffee in the morning. I don’t think it has anything to do with the taste but rather the ritual. I love the steam that drifts lazily into the air, the roasted fragrance of the beans. I love to curl my fingers through the loop of the mug and let the rim linger at my mouth just for a second before I take a sip. The first sip sets the tone for the day. I like it to be a good one. As I said, a ritual.

In front of me is a bouquet of deep wine colored flowers along with dusty pink and some green. They too seem to be taking in the beginnings of the day. I know there are certain flowers that close at night and open again as the sun drifts over the horizon. I wonder if all flowers do that. I’m not very smart about flowers. I don’t know their names unless they’re roses or irises, but I do love the atmosphere they create. There is warmth in flowers, and humor. There is a lightness of being; they have a way of bringing a smile to the room. I appreciate that. You’d think I’d take the time to learn more but I suppose that’s enough.

Into the quiet drifts the drone of a small aircraft. We’re about 15 minutes away from Camarillo and they have a small airport there. Small Cessna’s and Bonanza’s haunt the morning skies often on Saturdays. Strangely it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I am simply in awe of what we have accomplished as a species. The small planes remind me of the legend of Frank and Orville Wright which reminds me of Charles Lindberg which reminds me of my Aunt Beryl. She saw him with the Spirit of St. Louis at a small airfield in Pennsylvania in 1927. I’m writing a short story about it. This morning makes me want to spend the day doing nothing but that.

I hear my husband calling to me. I’ll bring him a cup of coffee. I hear the click click of Cooper’s nails on the hardwood floor as he pads out to see me. He’s been seeing ghosts in the house lately, not sure if he’s losing his mind or if the spirit of Maguire is torturing him for some reason. He’ll start out from the bedroom, often carrying a toy and as he gets toward the rug that leads into the kitchen, he’ll slow way down. His feet will get wider apart. It looks as if he’s walking through something heavy. His eyes dart to the left, he drops the toy. Sometimes he turns and races back to the bedroom. Other times he spins quickly into the kitchen so that whatever he’s seeing can’t get him. The only thing to the left is the pen and ink drawing of Maguire that hangs on the wall, the one Roy did of him the day he died. His ashes are still in the beautiful redwood box on the wine table. Maybe he is terrorizing Cooper, just because he can.

Cars are starting to wake up now, too. Three just went by. I hear voices, neighbors outside, tweaking sprinklers, getting ready to go wherever. As if on cue, our sprinklers pop up from the ground, spurting to life. Here comes haunted Cooper, wagging his tail. Looks like he made it. Life is good all around. 

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