He slipped his hand around her warm, round middle and scratched his hair, willing his scalp awake, hoping his brain would follow. Mornings felt earlier, and not just because the season was changing and Winter was inching closer. He could feel the years weighing on him, making it harder to start the day.
She made it easier.
He was settled and content in this routine. But now he drew his hand away, then back again to trace her curves, and he thought of the others.
So many others.
In college, a slender piece, sharp angles and edges. He couldn’t let go until her constant display of his frat’s Latin across her front reminded him that everyone else had her too. He was immature. She was usually full of booze.
They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and if he was honest, he didn’t like what was on the inside back then. He would learn to like what should be there…love it even. But it would take time.
Later, twins. Which sounded good at first. But in the end he’d leave one shattered. After that the one seemed suddenly much more boring alone.
His longest stretch was with a shapely hourglass that fit him like a glove. As the years lingered on, he felt like she wasn’t giving him enough. Like there wasn’t room enough inside her. She grew cold very quickly, and he held onto her longer than he should have.
He knows that now.
So now he sits and watches the steam rise from this perfect vessel which took most of his life to find, to experience others to know what he didn’t want. This which energizes him every morning, without fail. He would be lost without her,
his coffee mug.