The historian and I had to be somewhere at 8:30 this morning. The hell.
I know that 8:30 in the a.m. is not early by regular human standards. I know this. And I am almost always up at 8:30 o'clock in the morning when the sun comes up and signals, you know, another day, another dollar, the early bird catches the GD worm, etc., please stop yelling it's so early.
Having to be at a place, in clothes, with my wits intact, and be civil to people? is asking a lot, in my opinion, unless the place I am at is a place where someone is bringing me eggs and toast.
I feel, parenthetically, like I ought to adopt the big sunglasses, super cozy coat approach to being in the world before noon. My garb proclaiming: leave me the freak alone, America, I am still adjusting to the light.
Anyway: while we were driving to our destination, we were chatting. I was probably mostly listening. Sentences are so challenging in the morning. And I thought, and not for the first time, not even the first time that morning, UGH I hate having to be someplace in the morning.
I spent many a year adapting to the early schedule that my life required. I got up in the morning and made my children breakfast and helped them get dressed and off to school. I helped several children deliver newspapers on an early morning route (this was hell, don't let anyone kid you). For a good long while I would get up at freak o'clock in the morning and swim a mile. The Lord knows that I did my early morning time.
But the truth of things is this: even when I was a small child I was a night owl. I have vivid, detailed memories of lying in bed listening to my parents watch Bonanza when I was in bed, just thinking my thoughts, holding my Raggedy Ann doll, wishing I was out there eating their popcorn with them and sipping their Cokes, like the adult I always was on the inside. At least, in the sense that adults can stay up late, which basically seemed like the essence of adulthood. That, and high heeled shoes.
I always stayed up later than everyone in my house when I was a teenager. And to this day, if I am allowed to do as I will, I am up till 1 a.m. and awake at about 8. Why is that so bad? Why is the world organized against me and my night dwelling kind?
Anyway: the morning, this morning, was lovely. The sky, in case you missed it, was clear from mountain range to mountain range, and I appreciated it in a purely aesthetic sense. As in, I wish I could have painted it. But, like, at eleven, a proper time for having formed a plan and having gathered one's energy and beginning to execute it.
8 a.m., on the other hand, is a good time for stretching whilst still under the covers, and considering breakfast, and promising oneself that breakfast will taste better after a workout. 8 a.m. is a good time to take stock of the dreams still coloring the atmosphere. It's a good time for pulling the wisps of the day's plans together, silently, without noise.
Sometimes you just have to be up and on your way early. I teach a nine o'clock class on Fridays. To be in position to actually teach at that time, I have to leave way early, and prepare in silence for at least ninety minutes. I need a good run at it, in other words, to be alert and able to communicate by nine. I'm sure if this were my life every day, I would adjust. But I know myself well enough, at this point, to know that, given a shift in that schedule, I would in no time reset at my 1 a.m.-8 a.m. time points. And be dang lovely to speak to by ten thirty, or eleven, tops.
I admire the morning people, their ability to spring from their beds with no regrets and get going, to attend morning meetings unbegrudgingly, and so on. I defy anyone, however, to be on his or her game better than I am at nine, ten, eleven at night. I defy you!