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Kelly Vaughn

E.L.O and the 4 in the Morning.

It is 4 o’something in the morning, and I can smell the cantaloupe on the kitchen shelf. I bought it just yesterday morning, but it is ripe now. Turns out, melons are like avocados that way.

If we don’t carve and consume that cantaloupe before nightfall, it will end up in the compost with the rest of the garden things we buy with good intentions.

We’ve yet to build our own raised beds.

It is. Four. O. Something. In the aaaaaa-emmmmm. I get up just briefly to … well, you know. I had some wine and a sparkling La Croix knock-off just before bed. If I am lucky, I’ll sleep again before the alarm goes off for my Zoom workout with my very tall trainer and the shuttling of the children to their father (who lives 16.3 miles away) and the workday wherein I will be buried in words and the mental silence that comes after they have dissolved into my screen.

I am not lucky, though. I am me. So my brain sings songs and forces my body to move its short limbs all over the bed before 6:15. I am sweating. I am cold. I am hardwired for worry, so I watch my heart rate climb on my fancy watch that monitors my everyday existence. I am thinking of every victory and every debt and every phrase I could have turned better. Every heartache. Every bummer. And so on.

You can relate, right?

Still, a song plays as interlude to the hard wiring. The music jumps from one circuit to the next. This one. For me. Today, anyway.

Hello, how are you? Have you been alright through all those lonely Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights? That's what I'd say, I'd tell you everything If you pick up that telephone, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Electric Light Orchestra.

E.L.O. was a joke in this house before this all started. I hated the band. Hated the music. Reasons unknown, other than that those tunes dance at the insoluble edge of my musical tolerance. My patient partner, Christian, would play the list, the discography, on Spotify on the way home from whatever, wherever we went during the time before. I would fake-scream and laugh and sing along, anyway. Now, the music stays.

Maybe I like it. A little, anyway.

We went to visit our favorite place two weeks ago, a place where I watched a wolf lope across a pasture, where we fish and walk and watch mothers with their calves. We feed horses there and feel most in step with Earth, Mother Earth, the ultimate woman of rebellion now.

My daughter found a robin’s egg, horsehair along a fence line, the spotted skin of a native trout. It was a place where we went to bed late and woke up later. Interlude unnecessary. We cling to this as the good time.

So, when it is 4 o’something in the morning, this is the place I transfer to. Right or wrong, I don’t yet know.

But it is 6 o’something in the evening and I’m unsure where to go.

Blue days, black nights, doo wah, doo lang …

The cantaloupe remains uncut.

Hello. How are you?

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