4 a.m.

A few weeks ago, I opened up a blank Google document…and this fell out.

I don’t know anything worse than being jolted awake at four o’clock in the morning by an absurdly loud and incessant alarm clock.  Well, maybe I know a couple things that are worse than that, but at four o’clock in the morning I will be damned if I can think of anything worse.  You would think that in the times of iPhones, virtual reality and flexible LED screens we would find a better way to signal to our body that it is time to get up and get going.  Actually, I am willing to bet there is a hundred products out there that claim to do just what I am talking about, but who has time to find and try them out? Certainly not the people that are using alarm clocks to get up at four o’clock in the morning that’s for sure.  We are so damn busy that we can’t even wait until a decent hour to rise and shine. You know who the real villain is, the people that decided that they want to run a business that starts operating before the sun comes up, before the shine part of rise and shine actually happens, that’s who.  Sure, when you’re in the coffee hawking business I guess it makes sense to start early, but what about all those people stumbling in when we unlock the doors with one eye still closed begging for a cup of the high octane like Oliver Twist asking for another bowl. They aren’t selling liquid cocaine, they are selling things like tires, knick-knacks, suit jackets and cable subscriptions.  Who am I kidding, nobody subscribes to cable anymore, not in this streaming, instant gratification, I want my money and I want it now society. I want really good movies and shows to be available for watching when I damn well feel like watching them, and I don’t just want one or two episodes I want the whole season at my fingertips. Then every other week there better be another season available for me to watch, you want me to wait a whole year for another eight or ten or thirteen episodes?  That’s downright un-American I say.

Jesus, how long have I been in the shower?  Sometimes my mind just wanders you know, I’m not sure that my brain realized that I got up.  Did I get up? Am I still sleeping? Please don’t tell me that I have to live through my alarm clo… BRRRT BRRRT BRRRT. 

“FUCK!  I hate my life.”

As I rinse and repeat the morning shower routine, that I already lived through once this morning, I can’t shake a couple lines from the Twenty One Pilots song “Stressed Out” out of my head, “Used to dream of outer space, but now they’re laughing at our face singing wake up, you need to make money!” This seems to be an accurate mantra to start my day with. I can’t for the life of me, remember the line before or after that though, isn’t that how it always goes, just enough of a song to stick in your head but not enough of it to keep it from being mind-numbingly annoying.  I turn off the water and stand in the steam for another minute and take a deep breath.

“Well, I guess.”

As well as resorting to mantras to get me through the day, I’ve also taken to talking out loud to myself lately.  I’m not crazy, I only do it when no one is around to hear me doing it. Maybe I should get a dog or something then it would look like I was just talking to them, that wouldn’t seem as unusual I think.  You know, on the off chance that someone snuck into my house to observe me in my natural habitat and caught my solo conversations, they would just be like, “he has a dog and I can only assume he is talking to his dog, perfectly normal”.

Today feels different, it’s not but it feels like it could be.  I mean, every day is different but they are all the same as well.  Not deja-vu the same, but more or less similar. I am wearing the same color khakis and blue shirt that I always wear to work. I am going through the same morning routine that I always go through, hence the term routine.  I take the same path to work as I have been taking for the past five or six months, at the same time that I always do plus or minus a minute or two depending on how far my mind wanders during my morning shower. I inhale a deep, crisp breath of fresh air through my nose and it’s almost cold enough to give me a headache, but that’s nothing new.  Yet, there is something else there, paranoia, premonition, foresight, who knows. Call it what you want, I call it “another day another dollar” and remind myself, “I get paid by the hour.” Well would you look at that, another out loud solo conversation, and two more mantras all rolled up into one.  I’m really on a roll today.

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