The Little Things Arc
Part One: Morning Coffee
by D.C. Logan
Saturday morning. No alarm, but I woke at the usual time anyway. I flailed through the tangle of blankets and threw them off my chest. And stretched out a questing arm. So, that was what was missing; my left hand met only cool sheets. Duo must have been up for a while then. I rolled the length of my body over into the depression left by Duo's body and inhaled the scent of him from his pillow. The weekend had been a long time coming, but my favorite time was here and now. Lazy weekend mornings with Duo. He'd taught me a lot about slow mornings. I found that I liked most of his lessons.
I had to roll back over to my side of the bed to get out of it though. Duo had given me a pair of slippers last spring and they lived just under it. He'd bought them for no reason other than the fact that I didn't understand why anyone would bother with footwear worn only about the apartment. They were styled after a popular cartoon character, and released suspicious chortling from Duo the first few times I'd tried them. He seemed surprised that I wore them habitually now. I still haven't told him that, aside from a single yellow flower, they were the first unsolicited gift I could ever remember receiving. And besides, they were warm. I even wore them on the occasional midnight stroll to the bathroom.
The apartment was cool. It was still early, and I snagged my robe with one finger as I headed out to find Duo. The small sounds of Duo getting breakfast together were drifting out into the narrow hallway, and I paused to listen. That's another Duo lesson. If something feels good, or you want to listen to it longer. Stop. And do it. He was a good teacher. There was something nearly too intimate about the sounds — the tinkling of glass, the chime of a spoon hitting the sink, the irritated buzz of the coffee grinder. All punctuated by the easy shuffle of Duo's feet as he moved with grace from one small task to the next. All these little noises inserted into my quiet orderly routine. I am constantly amazed at the ease with which they and he have become fixtures in my life.
There was a loud gurgling belch that announced that the coffee was ready. So I moved into the doorway to watch him. Closer now, I picked up the additional smells and sounds of morning; the hot electric scent of the toaster, the rough scrape of a butter knife across toasted bread; and the soft creak of the chair as Duo settled his weight into it. And the scrape of legs against flooring as the weighted chair was shifted closer to the table. He saw me in the door then, and flashed a crooked smile.
He motioned to the other chair with a slice of toast. "Sit." He shoved the slice of toast sideways into his mouth and reached over to slide a coffee mug over to my place at the table. As I sat, he poured coffee into my favorite mug. Yeah, it's the little things that he remembers about me that matter so much. He knows I like the cup with the painted fish on it the best, and he never fails to reserve it for me. I only had to mention that I liked the shape and feel of it once. He remembers the small things I say as well as the large. I guess that's something of what love is, but I'm still discovering as I go.