Morning Ritual

Unedited, minimalist scene.

                The cat is being sick under the bed.  Not just one, but two times.  Actually, it could conceivably have been just one long vomit scenario.  There wasn’t a discernible pause between the two instances.  Regardless, the cat is being sick under the bed.  This noise is mingled with the high pitch keen the television makes when it’s turned off.  The television is old so there are more than likely structural issues inside.  The noise only stops when the television is either on, or unplugged. 

In the adjacent room a cell phone periodically vibrates.  The phone is pressed up against the thin wall that separates the rooms.  The noise is loud, and is surprising every time it happens.  Like, you forget the thing is going to vibrate again, and when it does it still kind of makes you jump.

Downstairs a dog is whining.  The dogs are shut up in the kitchen at night, but the dog whining has to be put in a carrier because she can climb the baby gates and roam the house; which means that she will most likely be able to use the restroom wherever she pleases.  So this particular dog is in the carrier, and none too happy about the situation.

All of these noises at six am, which should be a calm and quiet time, make the morning feel tense.  Somehow the noises coalesce into an unsettling orchestra.

Throughout the amalgamation of noise, in the middle of his room, Terrance Hart sits.  His chair could be compared to half a hammock, the back is high and it sweeps down low, forming a concavity.  It’s a decent relaxing chair, considering how far back you can lean, but Terry piles the back with pillows.  The pillows make his back nearly vertical, which he prefers to actually laying back.

Terry closes his eyes and tries to ignore the sounds.  His mind is exhausted, considering he’s just gotten out of bed.  Sitting down in a comfortable chair is, admittedly, not a great way to wake up.  Terry reaches the decision to start his early morning ritual.  He unplugs the television, leaving only a ghost of the whining.  Beneath the bed, the cat is no longer vomiting.  The cellular phone in the adjacent room continues vibrating, but Terry has no control over stopping that.  He goes downstairs and lets the dogs outside.

With three of the four noises neutralized Terry moves back upstairs to the bathroom.  He turns on the shower and lets it warm up as he finishes the routine.  He urinates (Terry never defecates in the morning), washes his hands, brushes his teeth, and washes his hands again despite the fact that he is getting into the shower immediately afterwards.   Terry grabs a towel out of the bathroom closet and sets it on top of the toilet.

In the shower Terry continues his ritual.  Shampoo first, then he applies conditioner, next he washes his body, now his face, he rinses the conditioner out and the soap off his face simultaneously.  Terry grabs the towel he retrieved and washes the top half of his body.  Now he lays the towel on the shower mat and steps out of the shower onto it.  For some reason Terry feels the shower mat should at all times remain dry, and so never directly steps on it.  Terry drips for a moment on the towel before grabbing the corners and bringing them up to dry off his legs.

When Terry is suitably dry, he folds the towel up and puts it into the laundry hamper.  Terry now dresses, which is a much less rigorous routine.  Pants, shirt, tuck the shirt in, button and zip up the fly of his pants, socks, tie and jacket, and finally shoes.  Now he descends downstairs, lets the dogs back in, drinks a glass of apple juice, and grabs a pair of Pop Tarts.  Orange juice is a much more “breakfast” juice, but Terry has never been fond of it.  He does not toast his Pop Tarts.

At 6:30 am Terry’s morning ritual has been completed.  He grabs his laptop case off the table near the door, picks up his suitcase, takes his keys out of the bowl on the table and exits his home.  Outside the world is awakening.  Others are exiting their homes and starting their cars, on their way to work as well.  Birds twitter in the surrounding foliage and the sun is on its way up.

Terry has a garage but does not park in it.  He walks from the porch to his driveway, which rises at approximately 30˚ to meet the road.  The interior of Terry’s Suzuki Grand Vitara is cool and dark.  Terry lays his suitcase in the passenger seat, and puts hit laptop case on top of it.  After getting situated he secures the seat belt and places the key in the ignition.  The car hums as it starts and Terry starts out on his way to work.

The End

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