I think about waking up happy.

Perfectly wrapped up but a little too warm, if I’m honest.

Rubbing my cheek into my pillow, my blanket, my partner, whatever, whoever might be there, as I slide one leg out from under the cover into the cool of the mid-morning room.

Touching a hand to my own thigh and loving how soft my skin is with sleep. Knowing that if my boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever lovely person is there doesn’t call me beautiful, or if there is no one this morning to call me, I can tell it to myself and mean it and believe it.

I think about looking at my body, down at my vast pale thighs and my freckled arms and my soft chest under my night things, and thinking all those things without judgment, just with a kind of calm bliss that I am here, in my self, in my bed, awake to it all. Gorgeous neutrality. Not quite neutrality. Awake to all the ways I might not be ‘good enough’ but knowing that I am. Big. Good. Soft. Good. Here. Good. Me. Good.

Closing my eyes again and raising my hands above my head and feeling the cold metal of the bedstead as I stretch and stretch, twisting in the slant of the sun through the window, twisting in the yellow light like a napping cat, the ends of my fur glowing like embers, whiskers twitching round my fangs as I sigh a happy kitty yawn. Twisting like a falling leaf, like the mermaid in the whirlpool, like a lover, like a skein of silk.

I think about the other cat, the one that isn’t me, that’s always a cat (for all I know, and what do I know?) jumping on to the bed as I’m drifting. Pressing his wet nose against my forehead, a good morning that probably just means feed me, ears twitching when I murmur a blissed-out baby talk greeting, looking at me for a long moment before walking in a circle, once, twice, three times, and peace, the charm’s wound up, and he can sit in a ball on top of the duvet and I can curl into one under it. His fur is softer than my skin and he smells like grass turning to hay, like winter turning to spring, like the garden. The hand I place on his belly vibrates with purrs, feels his joints creak as he does his sun salutations like me. His arrival is, like everything else, just short of idyllic: a perfect bubble of peace punctuated by the occasional loud mew.

I think about getting out of bed happy. I think about the cold floor on warm feet. I think about the kettle bubbling and the birds singing as I peek out through the curtains to check the sun is really there. Strong coffee and crunchy toast and licking the peanut butter off my fingers messily, hungrily, joyously. I think about apples in my shower gel and oranges in my juice and sliding into the kind of skirt that whispers round my ankles, thanking me for picking it out, reminding me how sleep-soft I am all through the day. I think about maybe reading that book or buying some food or going to that lecture, or drinking tea, steaming and sweet, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of my friends.

Gorgeous sunny morning scenes are such a cliché. But I think about waking up happy. It’s a big deal for me. And they happen. They do.

Closing my eyes again and pushing my arms down below the blanket and feeling the hot flesh of my own tummy, folding in under the moonbeam sliding through the window, the headlights sliding up the walls as the cars hum by outside, folding into my pillow, my head, my self. The cat jumps on the bed and yawns and his breath smells a bit, but I still want to sleep with his fur tickling my face. My own breath doesn’t smell of mint. I didn’t have the energy to brush before bed today. I didn’t wake up until 4. I drank coffee and orange juice and a had a breakfast that was dinner, and noticed my shower gel smelt nice, but I got dressed and didn’t feel quite right, and my friends were a little busy. I was tired again by the time they were free for tea. We said we’d check in tomorrow.

I remember waking up happy, and I go to bed. It might not happen tomorrow. It happens.


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