So to understand how I found myself sitting on our kitchen floor at one a.m. surrounded by dozens of randomly scattered blueberries, you have to understand the concept of "The Walkabout."
I have a tendency to go on walkabouts. This usually results in Stoney waking up in the morning to find me sleeping on the couch. Or on the guest bed. Or on the floor. Basically it starts simply enough with an urge to use the bathroom in the middle of the night ... and ends with the odd sleep-induced compulsion to eat, drink, or sleep somewhere unusual.
I know what I'm doing. But I can't necessarily explain why. Answers to the inevitable questions usually include, "well, the spare bed looked comfy" or "I was peckish" or "my feet were cramping." But last night's comedy of misfortune all began with the thought, "I am so thirsty." It was one o'clock when I woke up and needed to use the bathroom. I'd been sleeping pretty deeply ... and one o'clock was a pretty good stretch considering I'd fallen asleep before nine o'clock.
On the way to the bathroom ...
And I should pause the story at this point to explain that everything is on one level in Stoney's house. The bedrooms, kitchen, laundry, two bathrooms ... no stairs are involved.
On the way to the bathroom, I think, "I am so thirsty." And with that thought, I had that immediate need to get something to drink. You know that feeling where you throat feels like a desert? I had that ... and so I altered my shuffling flight path from the bathroom to the kitchen.
The six pack of Black Cherry Propel was still wrapped in plastic. So I began struggling with the package. I tried to pull a bottle out with one hand ... all while three quarters asleep, holding myself up with the other hand ... one eye closed, and the other only partially open. I didn't feel myself bump anything. I heard ... something? But the only real sign that something was horribly amiss was when I stepped backward trying to wedge this damned Propel out of the plastic ... only to feel my foot squish something.
We don't own a dog (yet) ... so the sensation of that squish was alarming. It wasn't furry. It can't be a mouse. Was it a spider? Jesus, don't let it be a spider. It's cold. Why is it cold? And wet. Why is it wet?
I looked down and for a moment or two ... I literally couldn't understand what I was seeing. I didn't have my glasses on ... so all I could wrap my head around was that there were dozens of little black dots all over the kitchen floor. What the sweet fuck?
I looked down at my foot and saw a pool of smeared, purple goo and realized the dots were blueberries. Dozens of blueberries. In my futile attempt to pry out that Propel, I'd bumped the blueberry carton and dozens of Wish Farms' finest were scattered over the ceramic tiles.
Shit. Tile. Blueberries stain.
It's almost ten past one, the kitchen floor is covered with blueberries, I am still thirsty, and I haven't even peed yet. The situation is getting exponentially worst by the moment. I stood there for a minute and prioritized.
I can't lie. For a split second, I thought about leaving them. I thought about going to the bathroom and just going to bed. I thought about the conversation that would ensure.
Stoney: ThirtyWhat, wake up!
Stoney: Wake up. Why are there blueberries all over the kitchen floor?
Me: What the what?? Blueberries? Someone must've broken in the house and randomly scattered fruit all over our nice tile floor! What a bastard!!!
No ... he wouldn't buy that. I'd have to pick them up.
And so, after wiping the blueberry remains off my foot and off the tile, I carefully tiptoed through the minefield of berries and made my way to the bathroom. I did my business and made my way back to the edge of the kitchen, got on my hands and knees, and began tossing the blueberries into a pile. Blueberry by the garbage can ... toss. Blueberry under the kitchen chair ... toss. Blueberry next to the recycle bin ... toss. Blueberry by the china hutch ... toss.
This went on for ten or fifteen minutes until there was a large pile of pitched blueberries. I slowly scooted over to the fridge like some demented, sleep-deprived toddler and sat on the floor ... gathering the berries back into the carton. We're clean people, mind you ... but there was no way we were going to be able to eat any of these. They were ruined.
I tossed the carton in the garbage and went back to bed. It was one thirty by then ... and I was wide awake. So I lay in bed ... tired ... angry ... thirsty ... and smelling blueberries.
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you
Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill