by Jack Stone


I got out of bed at five twenty seven. Quietly, a trickle of groan started when I flexed the muscles over my knees in order to swing my legs to the edge of the bed. It grew to a creek as the tributary of my stiff back added to the flow when I sat upright, feet on the floor at the edge of the bed. The growing river nearly burst the levee as I heaved myself upright; my whole body alive with the pain of Sunday old boy’s rugby. My mouth, now a mighty dam against the flooding river of groan.  Downstream of the dam, my wife slept on, like the doomed villagers of a Mighty Mouse cartoon, blissfully unaware of the near disastrous dam burst.

I stood for a moment, letting the pain subside, and slowly relaxed my straining lips. Then I turned and willed my legs into that first step towards the en-suite. I pissed, not forcefully or quite enough, but I felt better for it. I was struck for the hundredth time by the difference between my weak piss in the morning and the strong stream of my sons that I could hear some times.”Getting older; only slightly better than the alternative”.

I pressed the must have ‘Decora’ switch; only a dollar and a half more per; and squinted at the light and its reflection in the mirror. My day brightened as I was confronted with the cause and reason for my pain. My body had reversed the aging process. Where a scant eight months before had stood a sixty year old body, with a chronological age of forty, now hunched a much younger form. Younger by about eighty pounds, my rediscovered body had allowed/encouraged/demanded a Suburban Weekend Warrior. And now I was paying the Monday price for the Sunday folly.

Dragging my eyes away from this miracle, I bent slowly to pick up a rugby-shirt and shorts from the bathroom floor, lord knows how they had got there. I tightened the ‘dam’ again against a new flood and wondered why that the crackling noise my back made on it’s own didn’t waken my wife. With clean old jeans and a favorite t- shirt in hand I went downstairs naked to the kitchen. I smiled because I had remembered to set up the auto start on the coffee machine. I left the clothes on the counter and got a favorite mug out of its special cupboard. A white mug in the style of an old fashioned coffee shop, short and thick, trimmed with ‘country blue’ and a silhouette of a pig in blue on the side. I poured a cup and walked out through the mud room to the deck and the hot tub. I held the cup in one hand and flipped half the cover over onto the second half.  The tub didn’t smell bad and I wondered when I should add chemicals again, and for the millionth time why I wasn’t the kind of guy who could regularly check and adjust the damn things.  I set the cup down in one of the drink holders on the side of the tub and lifted the inner bubble cover out, careful not to spill any water from it into the pig mug. I stepped in, steeling myself for the rush of a tub that bordered on too hot. I scratched luxuriously at suddenly overheated skin, lost in sensation for seconds, then leaned back and looked up to check for stars. Baffled again by which constellation was which and whether or not that extra bright star off to the south west was Venus or, I took my first sip and congratulated myself once again.


One Response to Warrior

  1. gks18 November 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    An interesting piece of writing; enjoyed the extended metaphor here,and the sense of relief as we climbed into the hot tub with a cuppa. Thanks, Liz, for sharing.

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