I’m cleaning the kitchen after dinner when I realize things are going south. The room appears dark, hazy, and swerving, but muscle memory is still serving me well. Fatigue comes on strong and sudden.
While the last few days haven’t felt particularly draining—I’ve actually felt pretty good, been on track—I realize that a lot of mild things might be adding up. Yesterday, I ran some errands, including spending over three hours at the DMV getting my driving permit—almost all standing. Today, I ran some more errands, with my mom—including a long walk around the park with her dog. My daily morning walks—a brisk mile—and light exercises, my usual duties and the trips up and down the stairs, my love of vigorous use of the swingset in the backyard, trying to use my under desk bike whenever I’m sitting at my desk, finally getting the hang of the hip lock I’d been trying to learn for aerial silks, an enthusiastic game of ping pong with Mistress earlier—nothing crazy, but it’s adding up, even though my physical needs are largely met.
Mistress called down while I was still doing dishes and told me to tell her when I was done using the water; her schedule usually lines up so she showers shortly after I’m done with dishes, but I’m moving slowly. I agree and tell her when I’m done.
A little later, Mistress comes down to do her inspection of the kitchen for the evening, but I’m clearly still working, so she says she’ll give me more time. I don’t really have a time deadline, just that it has to be done right after dinner, which I serve at six. She goes back upstairs.
Still working, that’s around when I realize things are going south. I’m done with the dishes; coffee has already been prepared for morning; I won’t be needing to take out the trash; things are pretty much restocked. I’m mostly at just putting things away and cleaning floors and surfaces, shutting lights and blinds, locking up, and heading upstairs for the night to see to tasks up there. I could ask to skip the rest, and she’d almost certainly say yes—sometimes she tells me to go rest—but I think it’s doable, so I finish up, feeling satisfied.
I make my way towards the bottom of the stairs. The room is pulsing black at the edges now, and I lower myself to the floor, holding the end of the railing for support. I’ve blacked out on the stairs enough; I don’t need to do it again. I call upstairs. “Could you assist me?”
Mistress comes downstairs. She brushes straight past me, though, with her checklist, to the kitchen. So I wait. It’ll be unpleasant if she needs to use the discipline wand, but it’ll be dangerous if she sends me back down the stairs to retrieve it from the mantel, so I suppose it makes sense that she checks now, and I’m grateful she still checks, since I’ve implicitly declared the kitchen done. To be fair, in about a year of twice daily inspections, she’s needed the wand twice, so this isn’t a high risk, but it’s there.
She flicks the kitchen light off, which I leave on for her final check, and comes back. Usually, she tells me to kneel for inspection results, but I’m basically already there. She pats me on the head, tells me I did well. She offers her hand, which I take, and I stand shakily. She guides me up the stairs slowly, as she has a thousand times, but leaves me to find my own way down the hallway, which I say I think I can handle.
I see to a few upstairs nighttime tasks, like turning down the bed, before I strip out of my uniform, settle onto my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed, and get leashed for the night, writing and doing other quiet nighttime tasks before getting plenty of sleep.
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