She gets up slowly. The bedspreads, the matrass, the pillows that surround her pregnant body are resistant to letting her go. She pauses after sitting up so her belly can calibrate to this new position after eight hours in the other one. She braces herself and stands. A new day.
The routine is much the same every morning. First the coffee machine. Likely made in China and assembled by stranger hands. One of thousands of exactly the same machine. Yet this one right here, in this room, is paramount to their every day. The movements are automatic. Yesterday’s grinds in the compost, a rinse under the tap. Fresh grinds. Fresh water. The coffee roasted in Cape Town, but the beans grown and harvested in an African country unknown to her. She knows the small company that connects her with the coffee, but beyond that the connections are opaque. They may stretch much further or be more complex than she thinks. The daily need for coffee doesn’t really allow thought for the journey this tablespoon of grinds undertook.
The curtains are swept open. A cloudy, blustering, summer’s morning. Her looking at the outside is only a brief, yet important interaction with it. It happens every morning. A quick glance beyond the glass doors. A thought about the weather. An observation of the state of affairs beyond this room. An acknowledgement of outside.
While the machine putters and spits, she feeds the cats and finds a frog slung across the bowl. A piece of outside now within. It’s difficult to judge if it’s alive. Its position where the cat left it – front inside the bowl and hind slumped on the marble counter – supports its case as deceased. Her husband is summoned from bed. Another well-rehearsed routine. The nearest container, a bit of water and the poor thing is lumped in and carried back to where it came from, albeit via a different route. Down the garden slope to the small wetland. It slips back into the water and is instantly revived to speed away in one plunk. Husband returns, yet something of outside joins them in the room as the sliding door is drawn shut against the wind.
The coffee is ready. He peruses online media and she writes in her journal. Two humans in the same room, but separate. Occasional interaction somehow constant. The sharing of a space necessitates interaction. The sounds, whether a mug meets the table, a pen scratches on paper or a video sounds from a phone, are connections made inside the space. Two human bodies, but many sounds and energies. A breeze blowing in through the kitchen window and catching on the plant. The steam, smell and taste from somewhere far away. The memory of the frog’s brief visit. The pull back to bed, by now almost erased by the effects of the morning brew.