Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ten Toes


Right now, ten small toes attached to two little legs are draped across my lap. My child, nearing three years of age, sleeps on the couch instead of her own bed. She sleeps soundly, regardless of the events of the day. The ups and downs that brought her to this point no longer matter and fatigue took hold hours ago. She cried from her own bed tonight, saying simply "Daddy, I want to sleep near you tonight." My tongue is tingling from the Lao Mansa I've been drinking for the past hour. I picked it up from Norbu earlier this year and am finally getting around to drinking it. It's young, but smooth. It reminds me a lot of the Six Famous Tea Mountains YiWu Millenial Tea Tree from 2006 when that was maybe a year old.

There is a slow kid across the hall from me, and like clockwork, I hear him going out for his midnight jog. He's picked up a couple of my habits and the woman who looks after him (presumably his grandmother) has thanked me a couple of times, saying she's happy to see him running instead of sitting inside all day. At first, he would run to the end of the complex and come back home. On movie nights, I started timing him with my phone, but decided it's more fun to time him by the number of cigarettes any one of my friends smokes between the time he leaves and the time he returns. A sort of silent tally I keep to myself. First it was one, then two, and now three, and who knows where it will stop, so long as we can keep the air filled with enough conversation to keep us on the porch.

Much of my life has been in reverse: Decent paying job before finishing college, child before marriage, tea in the evening and water in the morning. It makes me curious as to the way many of my friends sleep well into the afternoon and go to bed as the sun is coming up. Time is relative, and the sequence of events might not be the more important piece when compared to having had the experiences themselves. One thing I am well certain of; these late nights are my time, and without them, I begin to lose something vital.

'Consistency' is the word that comes to mind. Just the way I can be sure the kid across the hall will go for his run, headphones blaring as he runs past my picture window; just the way I can be sure someone will open my fridge looking for a beer; just the way I can be sure my child will fight sleep unless I've done my best to wear her out; just the way I need these nights to stabilize after the day. Every scenario comes with people looking to find something, whether it be a healthier lifestyle, an altered state of mind, not wanting to miss a moment of discovery, or the capacity to balance a sloped lifestyle.

Those same ten toes, now wiggling as my child dreams, will be the toes that will help her keep her balance. The smallest of essential things. Just as these nights are my tipping point, to remember that being flexible with others is okay, so long as it is reciprocal. Are those I'm making myself available for making themselves as easily available when I am in need of council? Are those I'm sacrificing my time for making an equal sacrifice of time? All of these things, just so I can sleep, express, and make decisions as easily as a child, without bias or ego.

Thank you Greg for the tea. The leaves are entirely spent, and now produce nothing more than sweet aroma and golden water. Dust off a bing, I feel an order coming on.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

this is beautiful. if there is one thing she has that belongs to both of us (other than freckles), it is intuition. she is such an intuitive being. you are a beautiful writer.