Cursing the Darkness

I solemnly swear I am not making this up.  Yesterday morning, there was an epic pile-up at our house, and it happened like this:

Phillip had blessedly made the coffee, which, for the record, he does faithfully every single morning, rain or shine.  Phillip keeps the coffee pot in that room where the beer is, despite my frequent assertions that the bedroom would be far more convenient.  Crashing toward it each day is my best hope for meeting the morning's challenges: Activities such as making the lunches, emptying the dog, and finding similar shoes all depend on this first achievement of my day, and it takes everything I've got to do it properly.

I stuck my landing at the base of the stairs, which is no easy feat for one who is still functionally unconscious, navigating a staircase burdened by stacks of books, odd shoes, and (who knew?) balls of yarn.

From the foot of the stairs, I had to cover a 10-yard obstacle course in order to reach the coffee.  I know the obstacles well, though, and at this point in the journey I could actually smell the coffee, which buttressed my resolve to reach it.  I flicked the light switch to my right, bracing myself for the sudden glare. 


Maybe I'm not really up yet, only predicting what things will be like when I do get out of bed?  Nope, I clearly remember stubbing my toe upon dismount from the bed earlier.  Concluding that the bulbs had burnt out, I boldly staggered on another few yards, deftly avoiding the furniture legs I knew to be hiding in the vicinity of my desk.  Having cleared the desk-and-chairleg minefield, I reached behind the yarn basket storage tower (critics of yarn hoarding, Shut It: you know who you are) to flick the partially obscured light switch there. 


Having come so near my goal without being able to see, I made the choice to press on past the kitchen, to the far wall of the dining room, where I knew yet another light switch to be.  I still blame the foolhardiness of this decision on the fact that I had yet to obtain coffee, and therefore could not be held responsible for any class of decisions, sound or otherwise.

I tripped over the dog.  Paisley, bless her, in her relentless guardianship of my well-being (or possibly, her desire to eat kibble), had accompanied me down the stairs, and through the obstacle course, without my notice.  She is black, after all.  And when I say "tripped", I mean to describe a full-contact, ankle-twisting, dog yelping, foul-mouthed, ass-over-teakettle sprawl.  Gravity, never my friend to begin with, well and truly cleaned my clock.

Meanwhile, the dog, who probably never saw any of that coming, was so surprised by my sudden contact, and subsequent landing, upon her, that she did a sort of sideways levitation, while at the same time, squealing in surprise, or pain, or both.  None of which would have been surprising to anyone, had they been present, or able to see it, in the pitch darkness of the dining room. 

Except, as it happens, for the Cat, who, undetected by either Paisley or myself, had somehow insinuated himself into the space directly starboard of the dog.  As Paisley vaulted right, MacTarnahan hissed and leapt forward.  Which would also have surprised nobody, had they been able to see.

Except, that is, for MacTarnahan.  Upon launching himself forward and away from the dog, he managed, somehow, to smash squarely into somebody's abandoned winter boot, knocking it over loudly into the patio door, and scaring himself even further than he would have been if only for the Human/Dog twister descending upon him.

The three of us (okay, 4, if you count the boot, and I'm reasonably sure that Mac does) managed to disentangle, if not quite become vertical again.  Using The Force, I triangulated my position to be directly beneath the sought-for third lightswitch.  I felt my way up along the wall with trembling hands, thinking illumination would be a better next step than any further attempt to buck gravity.  I found the switch and threw it.


That's right.  Somehow, all the light bulbs on the ground floor of our house managed to burn out at the same time. 

The Cat, The Dog, The Boot and I, all salute you, O prankish forces of the Universe.  The cat yowled to go out, the dog whimpered (possibly still thinking of kibble), and I laughed.  I laughed myself stupid, which, as it turns out, was not all that long a way to go.  I laughed at the absurdity of living in a house so cluttered that walking through it without artificial light is an act of daring.  I laughed at the ridiculousness of placing the coffee, the AM Elixir, the Reason for Getting Up, so dangerously far away from the place we wake.  And mostly I laughed at the folly of trusting myself, the uncaffinated and clueless, to achieve something so pivotal and challenging as obtaining coffee, before having had any coffee.

And the best part is, had the three (4) of us collided only a few inches further to the right?  We'd have landed on a nice, soft pile of yarn.

Clearly I need to buy more.