Thursday, November 26, 2015

Shadowboxer

Dutchy Grieves awoke to the staticky radio voice of his alarm clock and then whacked it a second time for good measure. The signal from his least favourite talk-radio program straightened out for a few seconds – long enough for him to catch the weather report and the far more important traffic updates before wandering again into a steady hiss punctuated by the occasional word or phrase. untangling his legs from the sheets which had magically wound around him, he swung them off the edge, letting his feet touch the cold floor. The chill did more to wake him up than the alarm-clock ever could, even when it was working.

With a grunt that shouldn’t have matched his age, he pushed himself upright and scratching at his sparse brown hair, made his way into the living room of his small Montreal apartment. Stooping down some, he hooked an empty mug from his stained coffee table and continued into the kitchen. Dutchy raised his free hand and rubbed some of the sleep form his eyes and began the morning ritual which had been his practice for the over ten years of being a taxi-driver. The mug slid on the counter towards the sink, with a light spin to it which was Dutchy trying to curve the mug as if it were the last shot of a curling end. The mug fetched up fairly close to the edge of the sink, beating the imaginary hog line and narrowly missing the button, stopped on a bit of scratched linoleum once again. Dutchy reached across the counter and hit the on button of the coffee maker he’d packed the night before, and then he reached above the sink for one of the myriad cans of cat food piled there. Sliding that one across the counter didn’t give him any better results, mostly because his old tabby, nicknamed Cyrano, had leapt onto the counter and stopped it’s progress with an oversized mitten of a foot.
Taking the can back from Cyrano, he pulled an old manual can-opener from his junk drawer and took what seemed like a torturously long time, at least according to the cat, to open the can and empty its contents into the food dish on the floor near the edge of the kitchen.  The cat placated and left to its own rituals, Dutchy rinsed the mug free of any remnants of the last night’s scotch and filled it with some of the coffee, black, of course. The rest of his breakfast making and eating went by with the blurriness of a well-trodden path, lacking details but getting the job done. Glancing out the window to see if it had snowed last night, Dutchy chose some relatively warm clothes, dressed and grabbing his keys, turned to wish Cyrano a good day before popping loose the security chain and the steel lock below it and opening the door made to step out into a perfectly boring tuesday morning hussle and bustle of a day.

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