You Don’t See the Light Until It’s On

Dearest Rachel –

Back when I was waking up barely after five in the morning to prepare myself for the workday, I would often shower with only the nightlight on in the bathroom – because I really wasn’t ready to turn on the ceiling light, and assumed that you, in turn, might be bothered by the light seeping out of that room and into ours. It rarely occurred to me that the noise of the water running would be what woke you up rather than the light – but then again, as a general rule, I probably was fine with not worrying about either thing disturbing you, especially when you had gone to bed only a couple of hours before.

In any event, there are still some days in which it’s just plain dark inside and out, I’m having trouble rolling myself out of bed, and I’d just as soon not turn on the brightest lights in the house in order to make my way around. Besides, I’m more or less blind without my glasses (and I’m certainly not about to shower with them on), so washing up in the darkness really isn’t all that difficult, and it’s considerably easier on sleepy eyes.

Interestingly enough, the camera’s eye seems to see a brighter blue than my experience would lead me to expect.

The funny part is, that at this point, if I’m not quite ready to face the spotlights of morning, I can get away with turning on the light that you and I would have thought were at full power back in the day…

…because now, what I’m used to in terms of bathroom lights is more like this:

So suddenly, what used to be full power is actually tolerable even in my unawake state, because I’m used to something that much brighter these days. It’s kind of funny, when you think about it. And yet, it’s a little bit sad, too. It’s just one more improvement that you were never able to stick around and actually get to see and appreciate.

Not that I’m always able to appreciate it, myself; the fact is, I think of the new lighting in the bathroom as perfectly normal these days. Apart from a touch of leftover muscle memory when the only way to light the room up was to flip the top sideways switch, the place is always lit by those three lights above the medicine cabinet (which, likewise, has only been up for the last six months). The only time when I realize the difference is when I’m not ready to deal with the full brightness of the morning light, and that requires a certain set of circumstances; it has to be the dead of winter (when it’s dark no matter when you wake up), I have to wake up earlier than I want to (by the time I wake up organically, it’s usually light enough to tolerate), and I have to get cleaned up and out the door before I’m actually ready to face the light. And oddly enough, Sunday mornings in January – at least, those Sunday mornings when I’m working the booth – bring all those circumstances together.

And so it is this morning that I get to appreciate what I’ve got, even as I continue to deal with what I no longer have; you’re not about to walk in on me, for instance, and make my day that much brighter. Still, for now, the extra light will have to suffice. Besides, I have to be out the door in a few minutes; there’d be little time to enjoy each other’s company at the moment.

Keep an eye on me for now, honey, and wish me luck; I’m going to need it.

Published by

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: