The house is like a tape with one program that is rewound at the end of the night and restarted every morning. It rustles to life around 5 AM and reaches a boil until the breadwinners are off to work and the kids are off to school. The house simmers for a few hours until the bus drops off the kids, dinner is started in time for mom and dad to eat it after their soul-killing commute, the dishes are washed and we all yell our questions at the T.V. during “Jeopardy.” Some linger briefly after “Wheel of Fortune,” but the kids must have their baths before bed and mom and dad need to be asleep early enough for their 5 AM alarm. The house is finally dormant and I can read a few words from a book I got at the “Friends of the Library” sale. Escape is fleeting; my eyelids begin to droop and the feeling of the book falling out of my hands is my cue to get some rest before the storm comes back.
I dream of the same moment every night. The moment comes from real life and last less than a minute. But, in my dream, I hold onto it for as long as I can: I am standing at the kitchen sink after finishing the morning dishes; the kids aren’t back yet; the sun comes through the kitchen window; nothing else exists at that moment except for the warmth and the light and the silence. It is my Heaven.