The Jolt (15)

Friday I mean to run errands, to return a book to the library, get toner at Rite Aid so I can print the flyer for our writing circle, buy groceries at Ralph’s. But after my morning chores are done I end up spending the long afternoon reading in the courtyard garden instead. It is hot, warm even under the umbrella. My goldfinch have returned in force, chattering at the tube feeders and from their perches in our neighbor’s tree. I have a full belly, too, and find myself nodding off a time or two over my book. I think about taking a nap, but I don’t want to miss any part of the day, this second in my four-day holiday. My body is heavy and relaxed, just this side of sleep, when I am startled awake. I’ve forgotten to check the login tickets! I picture the support page in my mind, people waiting for help, untended. The thought runs straight through me, an electric shock, my body stiff with panic. I had lost myself in rest. I’d forgotten to do my job. I remember right away, of course. I am having a day off. But the thoroughness with which the shock infused me lingers. I shake my head and mutter to myself. I am surprised and annoyed by my reaction to this deeper rest. I push the thought of work away, resettle myself in the chair, go back to my book. But I notice the feeling that creeps in over the ferocity of that reflexive response. It weaves itself between the pages of my book, this small sadness, as I sink back into the story. Even so, I wrap my pleasure around me like a soft sheet on a summer day and let the sounds of the birds and the afternoon sunlight lull me once again.

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