A journalist observes life in the far north.
I slid under the down comforter, a brand new “New Yorker” in hand and opened the pages to “Talk of the Town.” The sun cast a brilliant light into the house . The baby slept. Celtic music played softly in the background. Ahhhhhhh, I thought. I used to be able to do this all the time: Read in bed in the middle of the day. I spent whole weekends like this before I joined Alec on the dome and before Jade came. The word luxury came to mind.
Then I heard the clomp, clomp, clomp of Alec walking up the stairs. He opened the bedroom door and his eyes bore down on me.
What are you doing?
I told him I was reading in bed.
In the middle of the day?
I said, yes, I’m having a rest.
Why don’t you get up and do something?
I don’t want to. I’m relaxing.
You can relax when I relax.
I chuckled at the irony as scenes of Alec stretched out on the living room floor while I cooked or washed dishes or bathed Jade flashed through my mind. I tried to think of something to say that wouldn’t spiral the conversation into a fight.
Something like this came out: This morning, I cooked breakfast, bathed the baby and blogged. I want to relax. When Jade gets up, I’ll take her outside and then I’ll make dinner, wash the dishes and make popcorn for the fireworks. At the party later tonight, I’ll follow Jade around making sure she doesn’t put her hand in people’s drinks, shatter a knick-knack or tumble down a flight of stairs. I want to take my rest now.
Cooking breakfast and blogging are relaxing, he said.
Are grocery shopping and going to work relaxing too?
You did that yesterday, he said. Why don’t you sweep around the wood stove?
Meh, I said.
Then he said good-bye and went to the gym. Normally, there would have been a kiss.