Holding Onto Daybreak

Day 2 of Steptember. I now wake each morning and immediately log on to my iGoogle to see what Artist a Day artwork awaits me. The kids are even enjoying brainstorming with me. This could get addictive!

*****

The truck door opened and two bare feet hit the red clay. Elise Hanover wiggled her way over to the scenic lookout sign, pulling her panties down as she tried to avoid letting go before she could squat. It was early enough that the road was still empty of travelers—it was a desolate stretch anyway—and she sighed heavily when the flow of urine puddled and rivered between her feet. Rising, she pulled her panties up and stretched her arms over her head, naturally transforming into the tree pose. After holding pose for a few seconds, she headed back to the passenger’s side of the truck and grabbed her yoga pants from the seat.

She slid into them and dusted off a spot on the ground for her to do her morning routine. As she reached for her toes and pressed her nose to her knees, she felt her back pop upon exhale. Sleeping on the air mattress in the back of the truck had certainly taken its toll on her vertebrae, though it was their only option since neither she nor Daniel had the funds for a week’s worth of hotels.

The warm palette of the morning sky was the perfect backdrop as she centered herself and focused all her energy on positive thoughts for the day. They had one more day and one more night of travel before they reached Vegas, and thus far the trip had been nothing short of perfect. This was amazing considering they’d only been together three months before embarking on a cross-country adventure. Elise was usually more cautious than that, but when she and Daniel had both lost their jobs within a week of each other, spontaneity knocked on her door and invited her to leave her qualms at home. Vegas was chosen because, well, that’s just what you do when you get a wild hair. Nobody ever says, “hey…let’s go to San Bernadino.”

Elise arched into cobra and smiled as the sun started to bathe the expanse of land below her with its rays. The rich reds offset by the subtle blues belonged on a canvas in a gallery somewhere. It was moments like these, when art meets nature meets human gentleness, where Elise felt the presence of God. Her church had no steeple except for the trees on the hillside and the snowcapped peaks of mountains. She drew a deep breath and pushed herself into downward dog.

As she stretched her way through her routine, Elise’s thoughts drifted toward her job search and the options before her. She was enjoying the time off, but idleness didn’t suit her for long. The admin job she had was meant to tide her over until she could finish her novel, but that had been six years ago and she was no less of a tortured writer now than she was then, and she had just as much to show for it. She tried to open her mind to divine reception as she sought guidance on her life’s path, but she got no response beyond peace in the moment. She supposed for the time being that was enough.

Elise looked over from her warrior pose as the tailgate creaked and lowered. Daniel jumped out and farted loudly, something that still made Elise giggle as she could practically predict it to the minute from the time he got up. He walked around to the driver’s side and stuck the keys in the ignition, cranking the radio up as he lit a cigarette. “The jig is up, the news is out, they finally found me…,” the familiar tune filled the air, and Daniel drummed his hand on the roof of the truck.

“Pretty here, isn’t it?”

“Mm hmm,” Elise responded, dusting herself off and savoring the fading moments of her morning’s serenity.

Daniel finished his cigarette. “Ready to go, babe?” Elise smiled back at him and nodded. As she shut the door she took one last look around at the beauty surrounding her. What a perfect way to start the morning.

Daniel put the truck into gear and patted her thigh. “I cut my toenails today, and Styx is on the radio. This is going to be a great day.” The red dust kicked up as the truck sped off, the sound of Elise’s laughter riding the airwaves into the valley below.

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