By Alex Cruz
It’s the perfect morning in Brooklyn.
The quiet of the night quickly vanishes as the tenth alarm sounds, filling the room with the sound of tolling bells. It felt like only a day ago when a phone from below would wake up the room with ABBA’s “Lay All Your Love On Me.” But that was a month ago, when the room occupied two instead of one.
The old wood planks of the mattress creak as the soft blanket with its red and white Christmas pattern is thrown to the side in a lazy manner. There is a bad taste left behind by the night before, and the world fades away in bursts of consciousness with the lull of sleep still weighing heavy. The lingering world of a colorful dream slowly retreats. The phone’s clock is bright with a blurry image behind the numbers eight and ten.
It is still early in the morning for the rest of the house. Those still slumbering prefer to sleep in on weekends and be woken naturally rather than the aggressive jolt of an alarm clock. Of course the loud alarm was annoying, and it always felt better to wake up by daylight, but sometimes, well most of the time, an alarm was the only way to go for an early start. It always felt wrong to start the day off with only a handful of hours remaining , almost a disservice. A couple minutes passed and the bed remained still.
Creaks sound from the top of the bed and travel methodically to the end , nearing the ladder next to the bed. The movements had become muscle memory, and the fear of falling from uncoordinated steps was only a passing worry. There was the sound of four creaking thumps on wood until a final thump was heard on the floor, which felt like ice.
The room was small, and it only took four small steps to reach the beaten up and yellowing air conditioner that loudy blasted an artificial gust of air into the room. It was a wonder it still worked after all these years. The groaning sounds were a comfort while sleeping, but it was time to wake up. It was shut off before the clack of pink Adidas slippers signified its way to the kitchen.
Just the sight of the kitchen was rejuvenating. Starting a new day right felt like the immense weight being lifted—when starting a new story after finishing the last. Ingredients from all over the kitchen flew onto the counter: A carton, a mason jar, a container of speckled sweetness, and lastly a cup of ice cubes. A small button was pressed with a blue light and the machine whirred to life, filling the once sleeping kitchen with noise. The mason jar was perfectly placed under the machine until a dark brown liquid poured into the jar, filling the kitchen with its bitter yet tempting aroma.
Not a second could be wasted, and the day’s dance began with a calming rhythm. Almond milk, brown sugar, and the ice cubes, one after the other. Too much or too little of any of them and it would be ruined. Once it was done, it was topped off with a metal straw. The perfect iced coffee was complete.
The mason jar floated through the air and landed on the white desk in the room. It never got old. It was something that could be controlled. It was always the same. With all the unsure things in life at least there was still this. The one time in the day where nothing mattered and the background would disappear with the cold sip of coffee.
The early morning sounds of New York faded away, and you could be anywhere in the world. Thoughts of the day’s activities jumped around, so many possibilities. Yoga, knitting, writing, cooking. So many things were in store and the day was its own to shape.
Everything in life is finite and soon events and people would just be distant memories, remembrances of a different time. But right now. Right now, this one moment was forever. This routine had become the one the only thing that stitched each day together, proof that each day had passed and a new one was beginning. The seconds passed by easily as a wandering mind continued to think and wonder. There was a book that still had to be read, a story to be written, and a day to conquer. Slowly the mason jar was depleted, pure contentment. A sigh of happiness. Was there nothing this perfect coffee couldn’t fix?
Once the morning was over and the mason jar was empty then nothing could be predicted and that was a scary thought. But for now, there was no need to worry about such things, because now there was only this moment and this morning. And when this is gone, something else will take its place.
I typed up the first draft by taking breaks in between and trying to figure out the direction I wanted it to go. After the first draft was done, I read it over and went to retype it on my typewriter. After that was done, I edited some parts in pen that sounded weird and went to type it on a Google Doc as a new thing. While I retyped it, I changed more parts of the story and reworded the sentences. Then, Alicia Kort edited it and then I edited it. Then, BAM, a story.