It's 6:30 a.m. and I'm the only mammal awake in the house. Tam is asleep in front of a droning television; her cat Rannie is at the foot of the futon, unable to stay awake. Huck, my cat, is napping, half hidden on the next-from-the top platform of carpet-covered "tree" that is all his, sprawled out like an apex predator who doesn't have a care in the world. (Accurate enough; he's the biggest tiger in this jungle by a wide margin, hunter of the wild long-legged centipede, assorted tiny spiders and any flying creature that blunders into his domain.) Even the television seems to have foregone its normal shout in favor of a calm retelling of recent events.*
Breakfast is done and I'm here at the computer with no demands on my attention other than the keyboard and screen, a precious moment of quiet before the hubbub of the day.
* I suppose the demise of the yelling, hard-sell automotive huckster in the wake of the bankruptcies and dealership implosion nearly a decade ago is not a positive economic sign, but I am still having a hard time missing them. On the other hand, my paycheck is dependent on those TV ads and they are a lot different to what they were a dozen years ago. Entertaining people over the air free for nothing except hearing a few ads used to seem recession-proof -- it was even, almost, Great Depression-proof! -- but the entertainment's got a lot of competition these days and the ads, at their peak, were more and more of an assault on ear and eyes that could, eventually, turn their attention elsewhere. Your radio and television were a nice big home for a lot of us; your cellphone is suddenly more crowded and the accommodations aren't all that deluxe, either. Yes, Miss Desmond, "...it's the pictures that got small!" Literally.
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