I’m not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person, and I’ll never be a morning person. I don’t want to be a morning person. Frankly, I find morning people to be intolerable. Traipsing around with big smiles and cheery chit-chat for hours before I’m capable of even mildly acceptable levels of human interaction of any kind. No, I’m not envious of the morning people, except when it comes to one thing; the ability to face that damnable alarm every morning.
Once I’m up and going I’m somewhat functional. It’s that struggle to come to terms with the fact that I have to get up out of bed, and then actually do it, that I’ll never get accustomed to. Those groggy half-conscious moments when my brain and body are betraying each other, and I briefly start to understand things like the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the intricacies of how 9/11 was an inside job.
It usually follows the same pattern, no matter what the reason is for which it’s set. The first ringing is distant. It’s the far-off horn blow heralding the coming battle. I hardly register it, except to hit snooze, and to steel myself in preparation for the wave of attacks that are about to come my way in the great war on sleep.
The next two times it sounds almost finish me. These are the most concentrated advances in the entire campaign. It’s all I can do to find and neutralize these charges. There’s an awful lot of wild flailing in my attempts to target the snooze button, and there are more misses than at a CNIB free throw competition. If anyone were studying tactics in this morningtime skirmish, it would seem clear at this point who the victor would surely be.
But now my faculties are slowly seeping back to me. There’s some fight in me yet. From my weakest point I now draw strength and confidence. And so, when the alarm unleashes its next volley, I’m ready, and I hit that button with the cold calculation of a seasoned general who knows from his countless triumphs on the stage that this is the final decisive strike. I’ve got it now.
But I don’t got it. And the next blast is where things start to fall apart. I begin to plead with it, to try to reason with it. There must be something it wants. I have money. I have connections. I know every other electronic device in the apartment. Which one does it fancy? The toaster oven? The air conditioner? The fridge? I don’t judge. Whatever you’re into, man, that’s your business. But I can make it happen. Say the word. Just give me a little longer on this next snooze.
But the alarm clock is indifferent to my pleas for mercy and my paltry offerings. The next time its horrific voice shrieks out I’m on the verge of giving up completely. I start to question why I’m even trying to get up in the first place. To go to work? Screw it, I’ll find a new job. It can’t be that hard. I’ll find a job that I don’t have to get up early for. Like a haunted house vampire, or the guy who sells MDMA at the club on weeknights. Is it for social reasons? My friends will understand. They shouldn’t’ve scheduled brunch so early. And if they don’t understand, screw it, I’ll find new friends. Friends who don’t get up before nighfall. Like vampires, or people who do a lot of MDMA at the club on weeknights.
Then it’s the last battle. It’s Waterloo. It’s the forest moon of Endor. It’s Kobayashi versus that bear. This time I go all or nothing, and turn the alarm off. It’s a gamble, that’s for sure, but it’s the last play I’ve got in my book. It’s risky. Either it’ll give me the push I need to do right, because I have no safety net, or it’ll be my undoing, because I have no safety net. Whichever way it goes, it’s down to the wire, and action needs to be taken.
But, of course, I’m not a man of action. If I was I wouldn’t have spent the last hour unable to even get out of bed. So, I’ll go back to sleep for a while, hopefully be rested enough to get out of bed in time for what I’ve got to do tomorrow. But don’t hold your breath if you’re reading this, mom. Six o’clock dinner reservations at the Olive Garden? Maybe next year plan your birthday party at a civilized hour.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr