I rolled over, the house was mostly dark. I heard a scattering in my host parents’ room. The lack of ceilings allows anyone to know who is up. A flick of a light switch can take away the sweetest of dreams at three in morning when my host dad wakes up to take a piss; yet, I’ve been guilty of committing the same social crime.
I roll over and check my phone, two minutes before my alarm clock is supposed to go off. I roll over with my phone. I shut my alarm off, no use in having to hear a mental recognition that it’s time to wake up, if I’m already up. Some people have my alarm as a ring tone, a troubling feeling always occurs when I hear it – why couldn’t they choose something else? It’s a tone to wake up to.
My host dad makes into the bathroom. I know this because my head is only separated by two plywood slabs to the toilet. I hear him drop the seat and mumble something or another. It’s early, he could be mumbling anything. He might be mumbling how it’s too early to have to take a shit. I prepare myself for the next part. I don’t think it’s necessary to write the details. Although, maybe you’re interested in the health of my host dad. I know how everyone’s health is in the family. The past week the two kids, my nephews, had diarrhea. I felt bad for them, but they didn’t seem phased by it. We still played our weekly soccer game on Saturday. They were still able to pester me to use my colored pencil.
This morning my host dad was feeling a little rough. He let open a symphonic fart, the resonations had a deep, brassy prattle to it. I let out a deep sigh, realizing that soon enough the music notes he was producing would soon reach my other senses. Afterwards, one could hear a little more air pushing itself out. Finally, we hit solids. Sadly, he wasn’t a solid as he usually was. It was more of a splutter. I like to think of it as a fan poop. You get weird little burst of solids flying out. It’s like your poop constantly gets cut at determined intervals, as if it was going through a fan. I roll out of bed, trying to beat my other senses of having to experience what my ears already have.
I roll out at bed and crack my back. I’m tempted to look at my email, messages, and any other thing that ties me back home. I leave them at bay for the moment. I grab my lighter and slide a cigarette out of my soft pack. I don’t bother flicking my light, the bathroom light spills into the rest of the house. Enough for me to see, and it’s not necessary to wake up my host brother, who has the ability to sleep through almost anything.
I make my way to the kitchen and throw some hot water on the kettle. I check to see if the French press is cleaned. Sadly, I was too lazy to clean it out yesterday and even more so today. Instant coffee it is. While the coffee boils I make my way outside. I give my salutes to my host dad, ask him how he slept. We exchange civilities. He finds his place in the front of the house, about to do his morning prayer.
I drift off towards the back house, for my own prayer. My ceremony consists of the same ritual. Just that of my host dad. He pulls a chair that they perch up against the house during the night. He drags and angles it to see the sun raising.
I drift out of the house and angle myself towards the sunset as well.
He then slowly pulls out a rosary and places it in his left hand. He places the bible on the page of the prayer for the day in his right hand.
I hold the cigarette to my lips with my left hand. With a flick of my thumb I light the lighter in my right hand.
His breathe is pulled in shallow gasp as he lips the passage that he is reading.
My lungs pull slowly and deeply, taking in the cancerous smoke that I’ve decided I needed to get through the day.
From time to time he drifts up, pensive about what he’s reading, watching the sun rise.
I run through the day’s schedule, hoping to get distracted by the sunrise that never seems to disappoint me.
We normally finish our morning ritual around the same time. He manages the stove while I manage the coffee. I’ve adapted my taste for coffee according to his. It’s made my life easier when making coffee in the morning for us. He like his coffee with one and half spoonful of sugar. I sometimes add a little extra, he will always remark how the coffee is great when I add more sugar than he wants. It’s a little game I play with myself.
Once our morning duties are done, we make our way out to the front porch, where he just finished his morning prayers. We sit outside, watching the sun still rise in the blue sky. A silence overcomes us both. Neither of us feel the need to talk. Occasionally, we’ll make an observation about the sky. One may be bold enough to predict rain for the day. Other times, it could be that’s it going to hotter than the usual hot.
The next interruption is always a wild card. It could be his wife, my host mom. Or it could be one of my nephews. The nephews, at times, have been so much of a wild card, they beat both of us out of bed. They come running, and pound on the door. Awaking us before our alarms. My host mom will usually complain about something as she gives us her morning greetings. If she didn’t complain, I think I’d be nervous. Most of the time it’s about the dog. The dog, either slept somewhere she did not approve, or had left a morning surprise. Either way, her frustration would soon pass over. She’d get lost heading towards the kitchen, leaving us outside.
The kids, usually made their way into the bathroom. They use the rest of the hot water from the coffee in their bath.
As they began their morning rituals, we continue ours. We sit outside while we eat our breakfast and sipped our morning coffee in silence. Once we finish the person who finished last would take the others dishes to the kitchen to wash. It was established in our social contract, although, I’m not entirely sure how it came about.
Afterwards, the shared space was gone and we went on our own. I’d drift to the same place I started my day and have another ceremonial cigarette. He’d sneak into the bathroom between his grandkids and wife. I would mosey back into my room, sit on my bed and continue running through the day’s schedule. Trying to figure out if I haven’t forgotten a little appointment, or task, that I had made previously.
The small variances, determined our days. Whether my host dad had a bad bowel movement, or the nephews became our alarm.