Monday, April 13, 2009

Me, Myself, and I... and a random kid and Aragorn.

Or this is why you don't want to be around me in between the hours of 5-7 AM.

My Pirates of the Caribbean ring tone alarm went off at 5 am, as usual.

I staggered out of bed, shut it off with a deft flick, turned on my light, and lay back down on my futon.

"So Joy," I asked myself, "How much do you really want that cup of coffee this morning."

"Pretty badly," I answered honestly. "Oh that hot, black, sugarless mugful of pure delight. I can't live without it."

"Addict," my other side sneered. "So get up and make you some."

I was so tired. I just lay there immobile for a bit, entertaining mental images of the perfect cup of coffee. In my mind I was curled up in my bowl chair, drinking it, and reading a VOM magazine.

Suddenly there was a child on my floor. I was too tired to pick it up.

"I'll get it when I make myself coffee," I said.

"What?" screamed my other voice, "You've got to be kidding! Leave a poor, defenseless child on the floor? What are you thinking?"

"I'm tired," I whined.

"You dreadful person! Do you think Aragorn would leave a poor, defenseless child on the floor?!"

"What does Aragorn have to do with this?" I grumbled.

A third voice joined the mayhem. "There is no child. There is no coffee. You're lying on your futon... and you're delusional. Get up and make something of your life."

I looked at one of my many clocks. 5:18 AM. The child had vanished.

"I think I'll have sugar in my coffee this morning," I said, crawling off the futon.

"Aragorn wouldn't take sugar," grumbled the voice. "Weakling."

"I'm not Aragorn!"

"But you're in love with him!"

That made me stop for a moment. I considered many responses, none of them very nice. Finally I settled on, "Shut up."

The child looked at me with large eyes.

"Great, you're back," I sighed. "Want some coffee?"

The kid's lip quivered. He crawled on my futon, and wrapped up in my special blanket, with his grubby fingers. Nothing I'm not used to, what with so many nieces and nephews.

I poured out the old grounds. "You're a figment of my imagination. Too many eight-hour days working in elementary I guess. What's your name?"

"Asphalt," he said.


"Listen, I need to go to work," I began, but he interrupted me.

"Aragorn is taken."

"Hah," said one of my inner (and did I mention annoying?) voices.

"I'm not in love with him! He's fictional! I'm real! At least, I hope I am. Anyway, I can think of a dozen fictional people I love more than Aragorn!" I protested loudly. "What is it with you people?"

"Shh," said the voice, "You're going to wake up Joanna."

I turned back to the kid, but he'd vanished again. My coffee was finally finished.

"Kids," I said, shaking my head, and taking a first sip of my steaming mug.

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