It all begins when he flushes his toothbrush down the toilet at 6 A.M. in the morning. Too bleary-eyed to distinguish a lost cause from a potential biohazard, he shoves his arm into the porcelain orifice up to his elbow, flicking fingertips at the darkness until he feels it wedged against the curve. With a tug he pries it free, careening backwards, sending a fountain of water all over his blue button-up work shirt. He is still trying to decide if the toothbrush fell into the toilet in slow motion or like an old-timey film reel with someone stricken with palsy operating the camera's hand crank when the back-up phone alarm targeted at his pre-work-ready-to-go-right-now nap howls in the bedroom where she is sleeping.
He knows not to wake her. Every moment depends on not waking her.
Every morning motion is more ninja-like in her hearing, every action performed in darkness, every deed a secret. He opens the bedroom door by twisting the knob and rolling his forehead from the door frame to the door itself to minimize creaking, all while pushing back eager cats with his right heel. It's there, and it's face up as if the sun is sitting right next to the bed, and it's playing the "Chacarron" song, which roughly means "Cocaine Party" and sounds like the death of a human through various "
Somehow the vacuum has cut his hand--his toilet reaching hand. Somehow ancient lessons in contamination preclude all thought of the shirt he is not yet wearing, and he goes to the kitchen to retrieve a bandage and Neosporin from the high cabinet, and the bandage is easily retrieved; the Neosporin is back there so far that it makes him squint, and he claws at cabinet space blindly, sweeping the dust with the palm of his hand, sending dirt into his eyes. In this sensation, a burning induced by bacon grease particles mixed with human skin and cat hair into a single grey lump tossed into an eye, he forgets the home fried doughnut oil leftovers from the previous weekend in the tall, top-heavy olive oil bottle next to the pills, knocking it out of the cabinet with a sweep of his fist.
He knows the fall. He has saved glass objects plummeting to their demise before. He can see it in slow motion, careening to a cracking crash, but he is lucky because he is so talented and graceful and strong that he will simply stop it mid-fall with his foot like a World Cup Champion with too much time on his feet. Here it comes!
The doughnut oil bottle flies across the room before cracking against a wall and falling to pieces on the floor. The glass scatters many times this distance , sneaking into crevices where it shall never be found again. The scent of aging pastries creeps through the cracks of tile floor while he immediately begins to recite the mantra of broken glass cleanups, all compounded because he needs to get to work now. All pretenses of happy wife are utterly abandoned at this point. Just as he begins to get greasy with the details of the murky dough-odor oil apocalypse, the terrible song starts again. He only put it on snooze! He failed to deactivate the snooze! Oil covered hands cannot touch the nice grey pants he is wearing, wherein the phone now rests. He is busy wiping and making malapropisms out of oil and apocalypse for later usage. Oilocalypse, apoilcalypse? What is malapropism?
It never ends. The phone is a top concern, but he needs to turn on the faucet to rinse his hands of the oil, and he can't grip it enough. The paper towels thrown at the spill are ineffective, so he switches to cat litter, accidentally using the litter from the box itself to make a genuine scent of urine-soaked week-old doughnuts. And when she comes out of the bedroom with her arms and brow crossed, he misses the only chance to give her a warning.
He doesn't realize it until he has driven most of the way to work. It was purple. The toothbrush he used this morning was purple. His toothbrush is blue.