By Deborah Falco, student, Long Island Center – Hauppauge Unit
May 26, 2011
On the first weekday that is predicted to be above 70 degrees, I call in sick to work. I start to pay close attention to the weather forecasts somewhere around the third week of April, watching out for the perfect day. Bright cloudless sunshine on this day is a requirement. It also must be a day that is not a school holiday or a day that anyone else in my house will be home. The day must be one that I can call my own.
When the chosen day arrives, I wake up at my normal time and turn on the morning news, paying no attention to it whatsoever. I pick up the phone and dial my supervisor's direct line, leaving my carefully planned excuse on her voice mail. A sigh of relief leaves my body when the phone call is concluded. A childish sense of excitement overwhelms me, followed by a brief moment of guilt. I rationalize that I really am sick. I am sick of disgruntled customers, paperwork, business attire and traffic jams. But mostly I am sick of staring out the office windows at the passersby going about their day in the sunshine. I have a bad case of spring fever!
Immediately following my annual deception, I snuggle back down under the covers. I begin considering my options for the day. Sometimes I try to go back to sleep or stay in bed watching television. Thoughts of long put-off chores enter my mind, but are quickly dismissed.
After approximately two minutes of doing nothing, I realize that doing nothing is not what I want to do. I want to do everything! The very reason I stayed home is not to be confined to the house, it is to be outside, to breathe the air and feel the sun's heat. I want to garden and clean out my neglected flower beds. I want to drive to the beach and stroll on the boardwalk. With an almost super-human burst of energy, I hop out of bed and head to the kitchen.
When I reach the kitchen, I fix a perfect cup of coffee. I take time to pour out just the right amount of coffee from the pot into a jumbo ceramic mug, instead of sloshing it into a travel cup. The sweetener and cream are leisurely stirred in. I inhale the aroma and gently sip the coffee, instead of my usual gulping. I cradle the cup and savor the warmth it gives my hands.
Finally, I find my way out to the backyard deck. Settling in on my chaise lounge, coffee in hand, I tilt my face towards the sun. My ears perk up at the sounds of birds chirping and passing school buses. I acknowledge these sounds and dismiss them. I stretch, yawn and take a deep breath. I am feeling better already!
Other work by Falco: