Down through the morning, I cut a path to the coffee pot in the dark, a dog at my heel in case I might just happen to drop a steak or a rack of ribs or something. They never lose hope, the dogs. I cut a path into the kitchen and flip on the stove light and make the brew in the quiet of a sleeping house.
I drink a cup as soon as there's barely enough dripped out. I don't wait for the whole thing. Fuck that. I don't care if it tastes better if it's all in there or not. I know what I want and sometimes I know how to get it.
The shit hits my veins and rollercoasters down into my heart with hard morning speed. I hear the jangle of the dog's tags as he realizes I am useless to him, that there is no bratwurst gonna slip from my grip. Same as yesterday/same as tomorrow probably.
Over the sink, I stand there with my reindeer mug and my baby monitors and glare at my puffy reflection in the black window. There's an old mountain out there in the freeze, with whitetails moving cautiously out of the dried cornfields and up onto it's rocky trails/ coyotes shitting in the cornflake leaves/ bears staring up at constellations/ turkeys dreaming turkey dreams high up in the pines, their crazy-ass turkey feet all wrapped around the rough bark of boughs where nothing ever happens but bird sleep.
I stand there looking at my fat face in the dark glass and I know there's a city I can't see out there on the invisible mountain. An animal city, with heavy heavy traffic moving away from the light of some human kitchen. A Manhattan of beasts oozing it's way up moss-rock streets away from my pin prick glow.
"Aaaaargh." I hear Henry in his monitor. He talks his gibberish and I wait for it.
Small thump. That's him popping his forehead off the slats of his crib. He's standing up then, I know. Pulled himself up the wood, into the nightlight haze where he can see a little bit of his room. I clock all this through the tiny speaker and I suck down some more coffee and I forget all about the mountain and the deer and all that and I smile like a motherfucker.
"Waaaaaaahhhhh." Crackles of something real and definite.
Here I come, bro.
Thump/thump/thump. He headbutts the cage.
Here I come.
Henry rides a pink chair because that's what his sister rode and I easily spend thirty bucks on half-decent bottles Rioja but have never even once actually thought about forking out for an unpink seat for my man. That's how it goes, I guess.
Before I had kids, right before Violet was born, I remember having a shitload of one-sided conversations withy my maker, me telling him all this stuff about how gracious I was to be getting a daughter and how I was gonna live my life for her and take all my petty bullshit and toss it to the four winds. Listen, I told him, you don't know me as well as you might think, man. But you watch. I am going to live my life for this kid. Whatever she needs, I'ma get it. Somehow or another.
And we got her the pink chair with plastic buckle straps so she couldn't fling herself out of there. And I would sit there in the mornings and in the afternoons, in the nights, and I would spoon her out little clumps of peach moosh, little clumps of green pea moosh.
God, how I loved her. And I still do too.
And with Henry it's the same thing all over again, you know? So much love. Overwhelming Crazy Love. Exploding hearts while I wipe the crap off his nuts with half a dozen Wal-Mart unscented wipes at once. I fill landfills with dirty wipes all on my own and I don't think twice about it because it's all so massive and I would ruin a hundred Earths just to clean the #2 off my boy's wee.
But, sometimes I wonder if it's enough though.
Or is it ever gonna be enough.
I wake up and suck down half-brewed coffee and listen for their cackles coming across the two Sony Monitors I drag around and then I go fetch the boy when he wakes up and starts fussing and I bring him down in my arms and set him down. And man, he smiles up at me like I'm the only face in the world he ever wanted to see this morning.
Guy Smiley sitting there in a used pink-ass baby chair while I pop the BUY IT NOW button with my fat finger and order another dumbass record off Ebay and drink my coffee by a wild mountain.
All before the sun, yo.
All before the sun.