The Morning Before Morning

Ever since starting on day shift almost a year ago, I’ve learned to fall completely in love with the wee hours of the morning. I honestly have.

I usually leave my house somewhere around 5:30 in the morning on the days I have to go into work.

There’s something so nice about the world while everyone is still asleep. It almost makes it feel like the planet is alive again. You barely see a single human. But you will, occasionally see a huge group of deer feeding, or, if you’re lucky, get to encounter a pack of coyote, and if the world is really pleased with you, a fucking fox. I know. Squee.

I just drive to work. I’ll have something somewhat mellow playing on the radio, some Paul Van Dyk or Postal Service depending on my mood. And I just drive through the blackness. The jet black skies and white snow covered ground are complimented by the stark shadows created by the street lights trapping reality in what seems like the kind of Instagram filter that would be the last one you’d ever need.

It’s also nice having the roads to yourself. There’s something crazy that happens in your head when all the roads are clear except for you that almost makes you forget your programming. For a second you forget that you’re supposed to stay in your lane and you suddenly remember that you’re on a planet that was here LONG before we tarred over a huge percentage of it and decided we needed rules for how we are to traverse the landscape. It takes everything in my power to not do a random circle in the middle of an intersection and, admittedly, if there were no traffic cams it would be even harder to resist.

Also, it makes me realize how much I enjoy not having people around. It’s not that I think people are bad, I just think they could be better. Nothing drives that home more than McDonald’s. Occasionally I’ll drive to work and realize, “I haven’t had a strong bowel movement in a while. I should get a McDonald’s breakfast.” I’ll drive out to this one in Valley View and get met with the angriest girls I’ve ever encountered in my life. It’s a weird place, the manager clearly has a type as everyone that works there is a very young girl with shoulder length straight hair, that likes wearing black yoga pants, has the kind of ridiculous nail polish you know HAS to be flaking off in the food to some degree and, as I’ve experienced over and over again, have the social skills of a love sick drunk at a child’s birthday party. More often than not, the turn away from me midsentence, close the window in my face, and, if I’m really lucky, drop my food before I have a chance to take it from their hand. With the exception of this one girl that occasionally works the mornings who is not only the personification of warmth and pleasantness, but I’m also not entirely convinced that she’s not a pixie of some sort. But she’s a rare anomaly.

That’s the thing. I know we can all be pleasant and nice people. My problem with people is that they make the choice not to be. Even if you don’t like someone that gives you no excuse. Hell, I got to work today and this woman who’s only interaction with me was her crusade to get me written up as she felt I took too long getting water to make tea, was standing outside smoking by the entrance (Ohio Smoking Law no-no, FYI, if you’re reading this) and gave me this shrill look. You know what I said? “Gooood morning! Hey, by the way, I still have some candy canes left over from the holidays at my desk if you’d like one. Feel free.” I smiled the whole time, kept walking and entered the building.

I mean, hell, it’s actually easier to lie and be nice to a person than it is to just be catty and mean. When you’re catty and mean you get that nasty buzz of adrenaline that comes with wondering if there’s going to be a repercussion to your actions. If you’re going to cross the line and they’re going to bite you back. That sort of thing. If you just say something nice and keep moving, it’s like a skunk spraying stink. You know they’re not going to come through that cloud you just laid down to attack you. They’d be nuts.

Anyways. Where was I? Oh yes, mornings. That was a tangent wasn’t it?

Ha, I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore. Guess I just wanted to convey my thoughts on the morning. Plus, admittedly, I’m somewhat using you all as writing feels really good first thing in the morning. It’s like sex for your brain.

You pump away, keeping a rhythm going, changing it up occasionally so your partner doesn’t get bored, hit that climax, not entirely nail the ending and then after you take a breath, the clean up begins. Well, in this case, the editing. (Yes, what you’re reading is the edited version. My god if you saw the mess that was the unedited version)

But yeah, in summation, I love the mornings, I love writing in the mornings, and sex is a fun metaphor.

As I have no idea of how to end this piece, I’ll close this out with a line from one of today’s biggest geniuses. “Don’t get drunk and fight each other.” – Paul F. Tompkins


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