I missed the last step on the steps this morning. The mornings are so dark these days and I’m always the first one up to turn the heat up. I have to find the railing with my hand, step down the creaky wooden stairs and through the spot on the landing where the floor boards sink down like stepping over weakened bones. I’m afraid they’ll crack one day against my weight. But the last step is the tricky one. It’s wider and longer and wraps around the banister. It’s the pretty step. the look at me I’m handmade, house crafted. I’m the prom step, the curlicue step and it almost damned near killed me this morning. That bitch. I’m always really careful to hit that step. It’s a long way from 2nd step to the floor, but this morning it was so dark and my head foggy with not setting my alarm and waking up an hour later when I thought it was 5:30 instead of 6:30 and I’ve already lost an hour of writing and then the falling feeling of missing a step, the ground not being where you think it should be.
I made a loud thud and was sure I woke up my boyfriend and I cursed and hit the banister with my hand. And I waited to hear him rustle and come crashing down like we had a burglar, but he was fast asleep. We know which one would do well in an emergency: me. He flipped the bedside light on last night after I was in a dead sleep and I sprang up immediately. I crash through the house banging and not a peep from upstairs.
But I settled in quickly this morning. It didn’t take me long to pour the coffee already made, to think about my dreams, to listen to the pitter-patter of rain outside, how cold it’s getting now in the mid 30’s, but not cold enough to snow yet. We still have the rain, the small feet sound of the rain. It’s gray like winter, the red fire tree outside has lost nearly all of her leaves. She looks ragged like a woman on the street but looking at her you know you know there’s something inside that she’s not telling you.

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