The steel needle drove through the black fabric. She made tiny neat stitches in the knee of her youngest’s treasured must be worn tomorrow sweatpants. She admired her repair and packed away her sun-faded sewing box. It was ten minutes after her bedtime, forty minutes past when she had promised to wind down. She stretched her back on the floor and finished folding laundry.
Next she emptied the dishwasher of the clean and loaded the dishwasher with the dirty. She wiped down the stove and countertops. She closed all of the flung open kitchen cabinets with frustrated taps. She fished for socks lost under the sofa and dirty tees abandoned on the backs of chairs. She started a load a laundry and carried up a warm basket of fresh laundry from the cold basement. She folded another load. Finally finished for the day, her love hung in the air of the sleep quiet home like smoke.
The overstuffed laundry basket hangs low against her hip as she headed upstairs at last. It is some time after midnight. She does the terrible arithmetic of what time it is now against what time she has to get up. She climbed into bed but not into sleep. Surrounded by a sleeping world her mind awakens. She could draw or paint or knit or buy a Fiestaware teapot from North Dakota or find out what her favorite childhood TV stars look like now. Mentally she swipes through the kaleidoscope of diversions. The teetering stack of books on her bedside table gives her a flirtatious wink.
She knows the Japanese word for a pile of books awaiting to be read is tsundoku. Her fingers trailed down the spines. She knows the Chinese word for bedtime revenge is baofuxing aoye, the term describes workers who have to work long hours will stay up late. As she turns the page on a book on global warming or a book on fabric inspiration for mixed media or finally finds out if Lawrence Todhunter got away with murder, she snuggled into that sweet pocket of time that is hers and hers alone and wonders if there is a word for this.