Hey! Remember how I have been kind of recuperating all summer from my unfortunate three-day hospitalization, having knocked a bit too hard on death's door?
And remember how I have not been able to sleep past 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., depending on Hick's whim of how much rest he thinks I've indulged in between my usual bedtime of 2:00 a.m. and his departure for work?
Get this! Today, Sunday, Hick made sure I was up and moving by 7:30. Yes. I know that's a Rip-Van-Winkle age for my sleep habits. But still. It's SUNDAY! Just because Hick goes to bed with the chickens at the crack of dusk, and slurps up sleep like a five-year-old on a cherry sno-cone...that doesn't mean I am ready to get up when he does to admire whatever shack he's building, or watch him cart his auction bargains from Pacifica to Gator. Or, most often, to observe his tail lights as he drives to town for a clandestine breakfast under the guise of getting a four-hour haircut.
Well! Take a whiff of THIS fine kettle of fish! Hick was in and out, puttering around doing a great big deal of nothing, calling The Pony to hold something while he screwed it (something metal or wood, I'm hoping), and waiting for Genius to return from an overnight swimming trip so they could chew the fat about his new phone. I went to town for some provisions for Genius to take back to his basement apartment and wrestle the landlords' Husky for, and some meat for Hick to grill for supper.
No sooner had I returned and put away the groceries and plopped down in the La-Z-Boy to rest my weary knees than Hick crossed the threshold in a dramatic, wide-open kind of way that invites flies to partake of our hospitality. "I feel sick to my stomach," pronounced Hick.
"Do we need to go to the ER? Are you having a heart attack?"
"No. I feel sick to my stomach, I said."
"What did you eat?"
"Just a breakfast platter from Burger King."
Let the record show that Burger King is not in Backroads proper, but down the highway a piece in a neighboring town. Let the record further show that the time was shortly before noon.
"I'm going to lay down and see if I feel better."
Let the record show in detail that Hick had already enjoyed a full nine hours of shut-eye before getting up at 7:30 a.m.
With the assurance that the Grim Reaper was not Hick's little shadow, the thought dawned on me that I had been forcibly yanked from my slumber, while this snooze glutton was now having second helpings. Not on my watch. Val, like karma and Mother Nature, is a harsh taskmistress. I waited about ten minutes, time enough for Hick to make himself comfortable and nod off. Hm. I had not yet changed out of my town clothes. So I opened the bedroom door on the way to our bathroom to slip into my raggedy attire, and saw Hick, or at least a large lump under a sheet with a tube to the breather running under it.
"Hey! Remember all those mornings this summer that you made sure I was wide awake before you left for work? THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE!" No. I'm not proud. But I felt like a teakettle releasing steam. Like the boiler at the Overlook Hotel right after Jack Torrance dumped it so it wouldn't blow. Fair is fair. Said the goose mentally to the gander. I might have hear a "hmpf" evaporate through the sheet. I went about my business of clothes-changing, and gathered myself some lunch and descended to my dark basement lair to inflict my annoyance on the blogosphere.
At 3:00 p.m., Hick hiked all the way down the 13 stairs to ask why I had done such a thing. Was it really necessary? Yes. Yes, it was.
"You know how you felt when I barged in and woke you up? Well, multiply that by 60, and you'll understand how I have felt all summer long. Except that you just went back to sleep for another three hours."
"It's not like that at all. I WAS SICK!"
"Yeah. So was I. I needed rest to recover, and I got none. All summer."
"Well, you should have gone to bed earlier."
"YOU should have gone to bed earlier! THREE HOURS earlier!"
"It is totally different. There was no need for that. It's not the same at all."
Sadly, there's no enlightenment for the gander, and no rest for the goose.