December 11, 2001
Theorizing


5:35 a.m. dawns a lot harder and darker and colder in reality, some mornings, than it does in theory.

In theory, it goes something like this:

You wake up precisely at 5:35 a.m., gently drawn from slumber by the smell of freshly-brewed Jingle Java, wafting into the bedroom from the kitchen. (The Krups ProAroma Programmable Coffeemaker: our favorite wedding gift ... and quite possibly the greatest invention of the 20th Century.) 

Well-rested and excited about the busy work day ahead, you spring from bed and plug in the electric hairsetter, then wander out to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee and sit down in front of the computer, where you spend the next twenty-five minutes answering your overnight e-mail ... catching up on other Internet journals ... outlining your journal entry for the day. This little bit of quiet solitary *you* time in front of the computer is a great way to start the morning: it centers you emotionally for the rest of the day,  it starts the creative juices flowing and it helps you stay caught up on your personal correspondence, so that people don't start complaining about you on other message forums.

In fact: you enjoy your morning computer time so much, you're thinking about setting the alarm back another half an hour, starting tomorrow!

That's the theory, anyway.

In reality ... it's like being forcibly sucked out of the cocoon about an hour before metamorphosis is scheduled to kick in.

It really doesn't matter how much preparation I've put in the night before, either ... or how early I went to bed, or how well I slept, or whether or not I'm climbing out from under an Alka Seltzer Plus hangover. 5:35 a.m. is still a mostly-miserable way to start the day sometimes, especially in the dead of winter.

Especially on a Tuesday in the dead of winter.

Especially on THIS Tuesday in the dead of winter.

For reasons I can't quite put my finger on, getting out of bed this morning feels about a bazillion times harder and darker and colder than usual. I sit on the edge of the bed at 5:35 a.m., bleary-eyed and shivering, trying to figure out what's wrong. What's so different about this morning? The apartment is a whole lot chillier than usual  --  it's always cold in the morning, but usually that doesn't bother me: I run hot as a corndog under a heatlamp, remember?  --  but this morning it's as frigid as a meat locker in here. There is no movement from the other side of the bed: David is coma-deep in R.E.M. sleep, eyelids twitching busily. Upstairs Neighbor Guy is uncharacteristically quiet, too: there is none of the usual thumping and bumping and squeaking of his fudking broken closet door. There are almost no traffic noises outside the window. Plus -- weirdest of all -- there are no freshly-brewed *caffeine molecules,* wafting into the bedroom from the kitchen.

I squint at the clock radio on the headboard above David ... and that's when it *dawns* on me that it's not 5:35 a.m. at all.

It's 4:35 a.m.

Oh my god! I still have an hour! A whole lovely, wonderful, incredible HOUR before it's time to roll into the shower and begin the daily beautification rituals! I could get out of bed, right now, and spend an entire sixty minutes in front of the computer, instead of the usual paltry twenty-five! I could catch up on every single bit of my unanswered e-mail  --  even the spelling corrections and the hate mail and the forwarded-forwarded-forwards  --  and I could write real replies, for a change, instead of the terse three-word mini-responses I'm usually forced to fire off.  I could read all of the Internet Journals on my favorites list ... plus a few on my Un-Favorites list. I could finally get caught up on David's Super Fun Time forum (New messages since your last visit: 43,897,621) ... or I could put in a cameo appearance on my own pathetic, embarrassingly-neglected forum (New messages since your last visit: -3.).

I could order my birthday roses!

I could track my Amazon.com orders!

I could write today's *FootNotes* entry RIGHT NOW, while my brain is all bright and shiny and freshly-caffeinated, instead of slumped over the laptop during my lunch hour!

Or ... I could crawl back under the covers and finish The Jacuzzi Dream.

What to do?

I look across the bed at David, still blissfully twitching and drooling and R.E.M.'ng.  I look at the bedroom doorway: light from the computer monitor shines through the open door from the next room, beckoning me ... calling to me ... urging me to come out and play. I am genuinely torn. Another hour in the cocoon? Or an extra hour of early-morning productivity? Another small chunk of snuggle time? Or a running start on the day?

Theory? Or reality?

Oh fudk it: I roll over and hit the snooze bar. 

Theory can keep until spring: right now the only reality I'm interested in is another sixty minutes' worth of pillow time.



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