Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett


I should encourage their whims in case they are the seedlings of genius.

The light on my coffee maker did not light this morning. I’m trying hard not to take that as a sign that the day will be one full of failures and missed opportunities and extreme disappointment. We have kid plans today, classes and lessons and practices and the potential to add a trampoline to the horse paddock, and I would hate to see any of these go awry. I know I shouldn’t see so much potent in such a tiny thing, an unlit light, a lack of orange glow, a missing connection in a kitchen full of connection, but I do.

Oh. It just came on. I’m halfway through my first cup of coffee (while the light failed to light, the larger tragedy [unmade coffee] happened to be avoided. Bless.) and now my coffee maker is saying yes, ready, let’s go, pour yourself a cup and unload the dishwasher while you sip, which is my usual routine. But… I’ve already made the decision to leave the dishes where they are and open my computer. Because it’s the first Saturday after the first week of school and I’ve got to say, I need a flipping break. Maybe that’s why the light failed to appear when it usually does, just as I’m returning from walking the dogs down the road. I set it up this way. The dogs wake me, we roll downstairs, they wait with varying amounts of patience at the door while I prepare the coffee pot for action, we walk while the coffee percolates, we reenter the house just as the light comes on, I pour the coffee, I empty the dishwasher, then I wake the rest of the house. But maybe the light needed its own break from routine this morning. Maybe the light is tired. Maybe the light feels like it’s capable of just a little less glow this week.

Maybe I am the light and the light is me.

And now that the light has returned and I’ve spent some time reconnecting with the world via the Internet, I do feel a bit more ready to engage with the dishwasher, to shower, to dress in weekend armor, to attack what needs attacking and sooth what needs soothing.

But first, another cup of coffee.

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