Night owl to morning person. A horror story



I hate mornings. Scratch that. I like mornings. I like them for sleeping, preferably late. For long, slow emerging into consciousness, a cup of coffee and then another and maybe a third, the newspaper (OK, these days, a scan of the Times on my phone) and eventually—but slowly, slowly, dangerous to rush these things—the hard realities of shower, presentable clothes, work.

Night, now, that’s another matter. I love the night, the hush when everyone else is asleep and I sit undisturbed in the glow of my laptop, my brain alive, words magically appearing on the screen before me. Nighttime is—was—for writers. This writer, anyway.

Because, after three delicious years of full-time writing, I recently returned to the day job. A paycheck is a dandy thing, woo-hoo for benefits, and besides, I like the gig.

But it plays hell with my nights. Because by the time I get home from work, my writer brain is fried harder than an egg on a Philly sidewalk in August. The writing, it must be done, but the synapses, they do not fire.

I had two choices: stop writing, which is no choice at all, or … or … or …

Yeah. Mornings.

These days, my alarm goes off at 5:15. Minutes later, Scott, aka The World’s Best Man, sets a cup of coffee on the nightstand. That powers me through my shower and getting dressed, and then onto my bike to a coffeeshop where I write until it’s time to go to work across the street.

FullSizeRender(85)A pause, in homage to Glenda and the other saints at Clyde Coffee.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t quite achieved Poe’s appreciation of wakefulness, but still, I kind of like it. My route takes me along the river, whose routine beauty I’ve yet to take for granted. The combo of coffee and bike ride is just enough to kick-start me into creativity, and I make as much progress on the ms. in those couple of hours that I used to make in a whole day.

I’ve even started waking up before the alarm, once, so early that I brought coffee to Scott instead of the other way around.

“I don’t know who you are,” he said, edging away as I approached.

It’s a powerful, shape-shifty sort of thing, one that makes me wonder what’s next? Maybe I’ll turn plotter. Nah. Some lines should never be crossed.


The morning commute

The morning commute

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