I awoke the next morning to an intruder entering my room. He used the stealth of a Ninja to creep up to my bedside, only inches from my face. I could feel his breath on my hair.
“Aunt Crazy . . .” I kept my eyes closed. If there’s one thing we Georgia girls know how to do, it’s play possum.
“Aunt Crazy . . .” I felt small hands pat my face and stroke my hair. “The sun is up. The clouds are up, Aunt Crazy. They’re high in the sky.”
Now, really. Do I seem like the kind of girl who gives a rat’s fanny about the whereabouts of elevated fog? I cracked one eye. “Sleeping, Tim.”
He patted some more, delivered a few more riveting weather reports, and then left for reinforcements. Moments later I heard the door reopen, followed by the telltale shuffle of Orion. The two congregated at the foot of the bed, Orion hassling and Tim giving orders.
“Over there, Orion. Go over there and sniff her.”
At that moment, I almost cracked. Orion considers me to be a scratch and sniff guest, and on a previous visit, he had broken into my bedroom during the wee hours just to sate his olfactory addiction by nearly hoovering me right off the bed. I’m not kidding. He has the suction power to rival any of those $1700 vacuum cleaners that salesmen take door to door, demonstrating how they can pick up an ottoman using only an attachment. I finally had to position myself in the dead center of the mattress, and even then, he’d stick that pointy snout of his as far over as possible and try to suck me right over the edge. Thankfully, Orion was unmotivated for the current assignment, and Tim hasn’t made the connection between obedience and dog treats or else there would have been Kibbles and Bits littered across the bedspread.
The dog shuffled out, and I heard Tim sigh. It was almost enough to generate some compassion for him except that I’m always fresh out of that commodity by midnight, and a new batch doesn’t roll off the line until 9am. I felt his head press against my shoulder as he spoke to my elbow. “Why don’t you wake up?”
As if a person in a coma could still be sleeping at this point. No, this was not about shut-eye any longer. This was a battle of wills. After a few more pats, he left the room and I checked my phone. 6:51. The Gestapo strikes again. I waited a full ten minutes before leaving the bedroom, just to rob him of the satisfaction. I flopped on the couch, and he was on me like wet on water.
“Are you going to make me some eggs?” At least he doesn’t beat around the bush.
“What did your mom say about eggs last night?”
“Aww, man.” He propped an elbow on my thigh. “Well, what can you make me? Waffles?”
At this moment I realized my lot in life. Some people give off vibes. Some people exude neediness and make others want to help them . . . right up until they strangle them. Others have an aura that screams “Bully!” so that the theme song from Rocky III kicks in every time they enter a room. And some people radiate gloom and doom so that fifteen minutes in their presence makes you revaluate your theory that life is really worth living.
Me? I give off a “I’m here to serve the little people of the planet, so please, how may I assist you, tiny dictator?” vibe. Hungry? Let me whip you up some eggs. Bored? Allow me to play Disney Princess Yahtzee with you in spite of the fact that those dice with decapitated princess heads really creep me out. Need someone to wipe you after a number two? My pleasure.
The question is where is the off switch? I successfully terrify my high school students; they leave my room trembling on the first day of school, and they would never dream of asking me to clean up after them. Besides, they’re old enough to pick their own noses and use their shirttails as a Kleenex. But somehow, I’ve become an easy mark for the smaller humans. For some bizarre reason, they perceive me as . . . nice. What a train wreck.
I heard Alli’s footsteps on the stairs, and she appeared in visor and tennis shoes. “Ready to walk?”
“Sure,” I said, now off the hook for waffle duty.
“Did you sleep ok?”
I looked at the little fellow next to me rearranging the items on the coffee table. “Sure. I slept just fine.”
© 2012 – Traci Carver