Still too early to rise, 4:30 catches my eye anyway and wakens me. I stumble to the bathroom and return to bed, thankful for a couple more hours to sleep. My husband, however, leans over and says: "Are you hungry?"
No, I reply, to this unexpected use of his vocal cords at this perfect moment for relishing sleep. Then I settle in again. But wait, I have to ask: Are you?
"A little." Pause again. "Want to go to Elmer's?"
With patience, though partly wondering if he is merely talking in his sleep again, I say: No, I want to keep sleeping.
"Oh. But we could have hash browns and eggs!"
Seriously? But what I say is: Why are you awake?
"If I could answer that . . . ."
A little more silence and I think, Surely he's ready to stop joking around. I start to drift into my happy place.
"OK, " he says, breaking into my fog. "We can stay home—" long pause— "and make hash browns and eggs!"
I laugh, but not too much because I don't want him to think I'm awake and there's a chance he can convince me to go out for breakfast.
It's sleeping time, I say. It's a work day.
"But we have hours before work. We could go to Elmer's, have some hash browns and eggs, then go to work from there. . . ."
I'm just going to roll out of bed and go to a restaurant?
"But you're awake!"
No, I'm not. It's still night time.
"OK, I'll let you go back to sleep."
"I guess no hash browns and eggs this morning."
Later, after precious little more sleep, the music comes on and I inwardly groan—can't stay in bed any longer.
So, do you want some hash browns and eggs for breakfast? I ask my husband, who hasn't stirred.
"It's too late now," he says, and rolls over under the blankets.