Feeling Small in California


I woke to the sound of the rooster crowing. The sun had not yet risen, but my eyes no longer wanted to stay closed. I picked up my phone. The time was 5:29am. Back home it was 7:29am. I wondered if dad was already up and watching the Today show. Mom would have taken her thyroid pills by now and gone back to bed. I pulled the comforter around me attempting to sleep again. My body sunk into the pillow top mattress. The rooster didn’t crow anymore, but my eyes were open.

I didn’t have to wake up for work. Mind blowing.

I could hear him snore. The wall between us muffling the sound. It was a pleasant hum. Knowing he was alive and breathing. My mind twirled around the excitement of the day before. The flight. All those I encountered. I wondered about the woman in the pastel pink hoodie. She had been so kind and helpful. What was her name again? It had started with an L. Linda? No that wasn’t it. Laurie? Yes. That sounded right. I had hoped she had made her connecting flight in time, and was currently resting in her daughters guest room in Honolulu. She would have been there by 3am. Two hours ago. No. She was running on Central time like I was. That would have been four hours ago. Pacific time was really messing me up.

I recalled seeing the hills greet me, and watching them hold the fog off San Francisco as my plane landed. It may have been the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I closed my eyes again, listening to the wildlife outside my window. Cozy and comfortable. My neck and shoulders no longer hurt from the flight. He had rubbed them for me before I went to bed. It felt so nice, not just the relief he had caused me from my achy neck and shoulders, but feeling him there again. His presence in the house. Knowing he was in the same house.

I had missed him so much, and hadn’t known it until I saw him at the bottom of the escalator waiting for me. It felt wonderful. Awkward. We cracked jokes about the luggage as it passed by us, and tried to determine what belonged to whom, just on the condition of the luggage alone. We had gotten pretty good at it by the time mine spit out onto the Baggage Claim conveyor. On the way home we had to remember the most comfortable way to hold hands so that my wrist didn’t get stiff like it used to. It took a couple of tries. We kissed when traffic came to a halt as we left the city. The sun was setting. The bay was shimmering. The hills loomed in the dark as we drove. I couldn’t wait to see them in daylight. I had only seen them from above. They would be much more impressive on the ground in daylight.

We were going to see the Redwoods tomorrow. No, today. Ugh, time zone change. Ugh, darkness. I had a feeling it would take me the rest of the two weeks to figure out how to adjust to the time. I also had a feeling that between his 6′ height, the rolling high standing hills, and the Redwood trees, I was going to feel very small here in California.


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