“I hate that it doesn’t snow here,” Rivi says from the kitchen.
“It’s a drought,” I say, laying on the chaise in the living room. “It doesn’t snow anywhere anymore.”
It is ungodly early, somewhere around seven in the morning, and I haven’t slept all night. Rivi had appeared on my doorstep about nine the evening before, full of too much energy, and with no one to expend it on besides me. The day is going to be a long one.
“It’s December. There should be at least a foot on the ground,” she says.
“You have to go east for that. Nothing but dust and tumbleweeds on this side of the country.”
I hear Rivi opening cupboards. “You’re out of bagels,” she tells me. “This is a catastrophe.”
“You could go get some. I’ll just take a nap here until you get back.”
She comes back from the kitchen. “Very funny. You’re the one with no bagels. Obviously you’re the one who should go and get more.”
“I’m only out because you ate them all last time you were here.”
“You’re only out,” she says, “because you didn’t replace the ones I ate. Supply and demand, dude.”
“Did you just call me dude?” I ask. “Don’t call me dude.”
She pushes my knees up so she can sit on the end of the chaise. “Whatever, dude. I need breakfast. This is inhumane treatment.”
“Okay, look. Let me take a nap for an hour, and then I’ll take you for waffles. You know you like waffles.”
“I do like waffles. I like them better if we have them now instead of in an hour.”
“If you wanted waffles now, you should have brought some frozen ones last night.”
“I didn’t know last night that I’d want waffles this morning. Last night I thought I’d want bagels. Which you are out of.”
I roll onto my side and cover my face with my arm. “Thirty minutes. Just give me thirty minutes.”
“I’ll give you ten, but then you have to go out and bring me back some waffles.”
“You give me twenty, and you go get the waffles and bring them back here while I sleep.”
“I’ll give you fifteen,” Rivi says, “and while you’re gone to get waffles, I’ll make your bed for you.”
“I didn’t sleep last night. My bed’s already made.”
“See? You’re already coming out ahead!”
“Go away,” I say. “Go in the bedroom and read or something. There’s a box of Triscuits on the bottom of the nightstand. Eat those, you harpy, and let me get some sleep.”
“Triscuits? What kind?”
“Sweet onion. Go away.”
She considers this a moment. “We’re still going for waffles after.”
“When I wake up.”
“Half an hour,” she says.
“An hour. An hour or I’m pouring the Triscuits out the window.”
She pushes herself off the chaise and stands. “You’re a terrible negotiator. You could have gotten two hours out of me if you really tried.”
“You’re the devil, Rivi. You should be killed with fire.”
“I’m the devil with the sweet onion Triscuits. You get your nap in. I fully expect blueberry waffles when I come and wake you up.” She holds her arm up and taps her wrist where a watch would be, if she were wearing one. “The clock is ticking.”
By measures of Triscuits and waffles, that is how I will map out the length of this endless day.