The kettle boils. The weather is finally starting to get cold. Water bottles at the end of the bed, slippers and scarves pulled out from the back of the wardrobe. Walking around in the mornings with a blanket around you, trying to see if it’s cold enough to see your breath. Growing up we used to have one of those kettles that whistles when it’s ready. It was more fun. But not conducive with an electric stove top. I turn off the oven, which had served the dual purpose of making toast, and being my little heater. Miles Davis is playing in the background. Nothing beats jazz in the morning.
I pour the water into my second favourite tea cup. I broke my most favourite tea cup last week, and I’m still grieving its loss. Getting a tea cup that you find aesthetically pleasing, has a good hand grip, and is both the size and shape that you like, is harder than it sounds. The sound of hot water getting poured into a cup sounds different to cold water somehow. I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favourite things.
I put my tea together in the very specific way that I like it. Half a sugar, two milk caps of milk. It’s weird and finicky, but achieves the perfect cuppa every time. Worth it. The bin is getting very close to full, so I put the tea bag down the side, so it doesn’t look like I was the last person to use it. Housemate tricks.
It’s funny how long you can take making a cup of tea, if you really want it. Or how long you can take to do anything. Life can turn into one big time waster. Room the cleanest it’s ever been. Laundry up to date. All my texts responded to, books arranged in alphabetical order. You know you’re desperate when you’re even up to date on university work.
I’m not even completely sure what I’m trying to distract myself from. But I know it’s there, in my peripheral vision. I can feel the weight of it. Pandora’s box. An existential crisis waiting to happen. I’m twenty-three, they come like regular visits.
The sun coming through the front door brings that nostalgic joy, like the smell of earl grey or a tea cake in the oven. You can see the dust motes meandering around, nice and lazy. If I focus on them long enough, maybe I’ll feel the same. I’m not on the verge of a breakdown. I’ve never felt more at peace.
I lay in the sun. Maybe I’m experiencing SAD, Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder. I’ve got tea, I’ve got toast, I’ve got some of that good old Vitamin D, what more could I need?
Something in my brain shifts. Now is not the time for rhetorical questions. I flip Miles Davis to his B-side. Take a long draught of tea. No, now is for enjoying the feeling of the sun on my face. I can question everything I know a little later.