Early Dawn

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Early Dawn

There is nothing comparable to the endurance of a woman. In military life she would tire out an army of men, either in camp or on the march.” -Mark Twain

The alarm clock roused Dawn from her peaceful sleep.  She lifted her head from the warm flannel-clad pillow to confirm the time.  To her disbelief, it was time to get up.  She let her face collide with her pillow and let out a slow moan of frustration that was muted by the fabric.  Dawn’s cat, Chaos; laid by her waist, unmoving.  The cat was used to it all and was undisturbed by his bedmate’s protests.

After she had allowed herself an extra minute or two of pretend sleep, Dawn slowly counted to five.  She had learned the old trick in a drama class and it worked well.  She told herself that she was becoming more awake as she counted to four.  She told her arms and legs to start getting blood flowing through them as she reached three.  She adjusted her neck and fingers ever so slightly as she counted to two.  When she reached one, she sat up and opened her eyes.  It had mostly done the job, but she still felt sleepy.  She rolled out of bed, doing her best not to disturb Chaos, and let her legs hit the floor.  The rest of her body followed suit and she found herself standing on the carpet.  She stood at full height and reached her fingers to the ceiling.  Chaos lifted his eyes just enough to survey the terrain.  No food was in sight, so he stayed on the warm comforter.  Dawn looked at the cat enviously and then plodded into the bathroom.

Flipping on the light switch, Dawn was met by the blinding lights above her mirror.  She had never wanted three bulbs above her mirror; she had even unscrewed one of them, but the two remaining lights filled her sleepy eyes with splotches.  Dawn blinked away the intrusion and let her eyes adjust to the light.  She took a comb in her hands and began her brief routine.

Dawn was an attractive woman.  Most people seemed to think so at least, and several fellows had been forward enough to express that opinion in myriad ways.  Dawn thought she was all right and liked to keep it that way.  When she had brushed all of her long brown hair back, she pulled it into a loose ponytail behind her.  It was hardly a fashion statement, but it would do for the morning’s routine.  She took her glasses from their nightly perch by the sink and placed them on her small nose.  Her brown oval-shaped eyes still had tired lines and a hint of redness.  Dawn sighed in annoyance but reminded herself that it was four in the morning; what did she expect?  The dimple on her chin agreed, but felt it wasn’t its place to speak without being spoken to first.

Dawn returned to the bedroom and went towards her dresser.  Chaos hadn’t moved an inch.  His tail had been bothering him, so Dawn wasn’t surprised that he lacked any vim or vigor.  She was confident that he would remain the sentinel of the mattress until he heard the can opener leap into action, then he would do the same.  Dawn opened the second drawer, pulled out a pair of black yoga pants, and put those on in place of her plaid shorts.  Her U2 t-shirt was regrettably abandoned as she pulled on her snug green tank-top.  She threw the shorts at the laundry basket, missed, and threw the shirt in.  She felt that one out of two wasn’t so bad and headed towards the living room.  She decided on her way that the shorts added contrast to the brown carpet and therefore it was a fashion choice, not her laziness; that allowed them to remain where they had landed.

Dawn found her yoga mat just where it always was.  The corner of her living room was quiet.  There were no decorations here, simply her mat and the window.  A serene view of the lake was visible and Dawn was once again pleased that she had picked this apartment.

Before her workout, she looked down at her belly.  She had a few more pounds on her than she liked.  Most of it was due to her pool schedule.  She used to like to go in at six a.m. and avoid any of the crowds.  The water buoyed her, calmed her, and drowned out the outside racket that life often brought.  Recently though, her gym had added a morning class.  She wasn’t sure exactly what they were doing, but it seemed like some sort aquatic jazzercise.  Dawn had considered joining in so that she could be in the water, but she wanted calm and quiet while the group preferred bouncing and flailing to boy bands from the nineties.  Dawn hadn’t swum in months and she missed it.

Also, Dawn liked carbs.  Most of all, she enjoyed doughnuts.  People would bring them to work, they would sit there and look inviting while she shopped for bagels; it was as if they were calling to her.  If she didn’t eat a few maple bars, then clearly she was depriving them of their purpose.  She couldn’t sleep knowing that she hadn’t done her part to help out the hard-working doughnut population.  Also, the pizza shop that had opened in the lobby of her office was not helping matters.

Dawn was still in fine shape.  Her years of yoga had honed her arms and legs into slender shape, even if her lack of exercise had caused to her lose some of her tone.  She could feel the muscles in her stomach waiting to come forth; she just needed to help them along.  Dawn liked to be in shape.  She was always happier when her body was ready for anything.  She had to admit that winter had slowed her down.  It was hard to go jogging when the thermometer wouldn’t reach above the thirties and without her pool she had found herself rather couch bound.  She still did some yoga, she still went hiking, but her routine was lazy.  Winter had come and gone, spring was in full force, and Dawn felt summer rapidly approaching.  One extra bit of motivation to get back to her former physique was Louis.

Louis and Dawn worked together and they had just clicked.  They were from two different states, two different backgrounds; two different upbringings. Somehow the two had fallen into synch almost immediately.  She liked how casual he could be in an office of stodgy coworkers while he liked the insights that she offered that no one had ever recognized before.  They had spent lunch together, gone on a few hikes together, and even been to see a play together.  He was just tall enough for her to put her head on his shoulder and he always made an effort to open doors for her.  She liked his style and had been expressing herself in frisky ways recently.  Louis was often telling her how nice she looked or how beautiful she was, so Dawn wasn’t afraid of him being too reserved in his displays of affection.  Still, if she could regain the stomach she had at this time last year…  Dawn smiled to herself.  It would be fun to see Louis’ jaw drop; the poor guy.

Dawn pulled her exercise ball close to her and pretended she was going to do a push-up on it.  She placed her legs shoulder-length apart and lifted one knee up to her chest.  She repeated this several times and then switched legs.  Then she lay on her mat, let her arms go loose at her side, tucked her stomach in while she breathed through her chest and let her knees fold.  She tightened the muscles in her core as she lifted her waist up into the air, lowered it, and repeated the motion as much as she could.  She then laid on her side, her out-stretched body taking up the length of the mat.  She told herself that she was looking pretty good, and turned onto her side.  Each leg got its time to be lifted into the air in a long, graceful line.  As Dawn wrapped up, she started thinking she should probably cut back on the doughnuts.  If nothing else, they were getting expensive.  She decided that she would limit herself to two of them a day.  Or maybe three…, she considered.  There was no need to make rash decisions, after all.

Dawn felt a few beads of sweat drift down her face and welcomed the cooling trickles of moisture.  She reached for the water bottle that she hadn’t finished yesterday and took long, refreshing sips.  She needed to remember to drink more water too.  She added that to the running to-do list that was constantly asking for her attention.  If there was one thing Louis brought to her life, it was that he distracted Dawn from her list of endless tasks.  She appreciated that about him.

Dawn sat on the mat, her legs crossed and intertwined.  She put the water bottle aside and put her hands on her knees.  As she took deep breaths she tried to block the world from her mind.  She pushed away her work day in front of her.  She discarded the car repairs she needed to have done.  She fought to remove any thoughts of her pregnant sister who was far too young to be having a kid.  Finally, and with a bit of regret, she stopped thinking about Louis and how he looked when he wore that blue shirt and hadn’t shaved for a day.  It took her a minute or two, but soon it was just Dawn and the quiet.  Chaos would bother her soon enough.  Her pet would demand to be fed soon enough.  For now, she simply breathed in and out, focused on nothing, and enjoyed this tranquil moment as the sun started to shine through her window.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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