As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day.
I like to pat myself on the back that I can get up in the morning with no alarm clock. It’s really no great feat to be able to do that. I’ve read questions where people ask why they seem to get up minutes before their alarm clock goes off. It’s pretty simple, many people just adjust to getting up at the same time. If I wake up every morning at 6:00, my mind and body will become used to it and wake up without any outside assistance.
Maybe what I can do is a little more unique, I don’t just wake up at six, I get up too. Mornings are darker and cooler now, even here in Southern California. 6:00 in the summer means it’s light out and the covers are off. But as October draws to a close, even the mild winters of my area mean that early in the morning, my bed is warmer than the outside world. But I still get up.
Consciousness comes on me and I look at the clock beside my bed. It usually is a few minutes before six. And I lie there for a moment. The thoughts come.
I have reasons to get up. I’m a morning person. The coffee pot might be timed to start brewing right then. I have obligations each morning, animals to be fed and chances are I’m cooking breakfast for the family too. But still, as the bliss of a night’s sleep quickly ebb away, an emptiness remains, a hollowness that any thought can fill. The thoughts come.
It’s not worth it, they say. You’re no writer. You’re deceiving yourself, denying the inevitable fact that you’re nothing more than a janitor. Your kids roll their eyes at you and your wife could live without you. You’ve got nothing to offer those close to you, the world, anyone. Why bother? You’ll get up and sit at your laptop, which is probably going to crash and die any day now. The words won’t come. You’ll get frustrated. The coffee will be too hot. Rhapsody music service probably won’t load. And David, you’re still so tired.
The bliss of sleep, which pulled back like an ocean wave, begins to crash and break, tumbling back toward me. My eyes feel so dry, just close them, moisten them a bit. Breathe deep. The pillows are surrounding me, not too warm in the coolness of the room.
You’re nobody, the voice assures me. But escape from the world through sleep makes it all better.
But I’ve lived in denial so much of my life, it works both ways. I can deny what the voices say too. I stretch my legs as hard as I can, the same legs that twitched and kept me up last night. I feel so tired and sleepy, when can I sleep next? I lie and assure myself that I can probably get a nap in somewhere, maybe even in the morning. My body believes this lie. I try to pull in strength through breaths. The sleep had been washing back over me and I rise out of it, up from a warm bath of escape into cold reality.
I grab my phone from the bedside and stand up. A battle is won.