I wake up when my wife wakes up, which is early. She quickly gets up, stumbles to the living room, and turns on CNN. I scrounge around in the dark and look for yesterday’s clothes. There’s no reason for clean ones yet. I put my dog George on a leash and take him downstairs to the grass next to the parking lot. He does his morning business. I grunt my thankfulness that he held it until we went outside. He looks up at me and we walk back upstairs.
My wife is eating Cinammon Toast Crunch, I’m eating oatmeal, and George is eating exactly one cup of dog food and one glucosamine tablet.
After Samantha leaves for work, I turn on a DVR’d episode of Las Vegas, my new favorite show. I open all the blinds, and lift one of them up so George can look out into the greenbelt behind our apartment. If it’s not too humid outside, I’ll crack the window. Tail wagging, he trots over to the window and plops onto the ground.
I make the bed, fluff the pillows, put up any dirty clothes or fresh laundry. In the living room, I clear out any magazines or computer cables from the night before. In the kitchen, I load the breakfast dishes into the washing machine. It’s not time to turn it on yet. I wait on that until after lunch, when I can load the leftover Pyrex. I like doing all of this because Sam likes to relax when she gets home.
By the time Las Vegas is winding down, George is sitting impatiently by my chair, watching me. Every couple minutes he puts his paw on the chair arm and raises his ears. He wants to know when we’re going outside.
I know a lot of people who defend mistreatment of animals and say things like, “A dog is just an animal,” That statement is nonsensical to me. What I hear is, “A dog is just a part of Creation, handmade by God for His glory.” I don’t see how this is a bad thing at all or a license to mistreat animals or nature. This is the type of stuff I think about in the mornings.
Every other day, I vacuum and dust. George sheds a lot, so I like to keep his hair in check. Sam and I also like to make vacuum lines in the carpet. It looks cool. I load laundry, take out the recycling and the trash, and put on some socks.
George gets excited, because socks mean outside. I put my phone, my keys, and a biodegradable poop sack in my backpack. We walk downstairs and onto the nature trails near our apartment. Driving by something is not the same as riding a bike by something, and that is not the same as walking by something. When you walk, you notice carvings in trees, rows of ants carrying dead leaves, an old couple who sits on their porch between 9 and 10 every morning. You can’t see it when you drive.
George loves old food wrappers and looking at deer. There are a lot of deer where we live. Sometimes when they look at me, I feel like they know me, or maybe it’s God or a ghost or something else. George stands quietly, ears up, and watches them pass through the brush east of us. He does his big business at the end of the walk, on the trailhead. I encourage this, because there is a trash can. I love my dog, but I don’t want to carry his poop. One of the main reasons I’m scared of babies is that you have to clean their poop. I’ve had a few friends tell me it’s not actually that bad. I don’t really mind picking up George’s poop, so I kind of believe them.
When we get back to the apartment, George goes into his crate and sleeps. I’ll go the gym and run, or run some small errands, like using gift cards from the wedding or normal administrative stuff that comes with marriage and adulthood.
Around lunch, I fire up my desktop, check emails, and begin my daily job search. Idealist, WorkInTexas, Craigslist, UT Law Job Bank. I do this for a few hours. There are 43,000 lawyers in Texas, and roughly 300 applicants for each entry level state attorney job. So far, I haven’t gotten any job offers. ”Your resume is impressive,” they say. Sisyphus. I know things will pick up, though, and that a year from now all this will seem like nothing. Money makes people worry, it makes me worry, but the truth is I’ve never gone hungry or been evicted. I only worry when I compare the life I have with a dream life I make up in my head. Fiction. If I’m Sisyphus, I’m also Zeus. I give myself the rock. Still, it messes with a man, not finding work.
Sam comes home around 4:12 every day. We talk about our days, current events, and what an amazing cook Sam is. She likes cooking and baking, and makes something every night. We usually listen to jazz while all this is going on. We always eat at the table together and share dish duties. It’s my favorite part of the day. After that, we walk George again.
Most nights, we watch TV. Monday is Chuck, Tuesday is LOST and Idol, Wednesday is Idol, Thursday is Community. We also both loves movies. We make a trip to the Redbox sometimes. Every once in awhile, we pretend like we’re pioneers and hang out with candlelight. We play Skip-Bo and other card games.
After that, we read our married couple devotional book, pray for each other, and go to sleep. I used to lay awake and think for a long time every night, but I don’t do that anymore. Now I don’t need that time.