Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It's Like Going To Bed At A Quarter To Three

Note: I'm sick. Not seriously, but indisputably. My nose runs and I sneeze and I ache slightly all over and I slept 11 good hours last night (and that's not just a symptom of my decadent lifestyle, which usually only runs me to nine hours of sleep) and I am sporting what for me is a fever, although given that the temperature elevation in question is from 97.1 degrees to 97.9 degrees I don't really expect anyone to take it terribly seriously. Least of all myself. Nevertheless, it is a fact that these kinds of trivial illnesses affect my mental outlook, usually for the bleaker.

The other morning I woke up at 5:30. I had to catch a 9:00 plane at an airport half an hour away from me. It had been a while since I had woken up at 5:30 on purpose and in order to do something, and as the alarm went off and I, startled, woke up, I felt desolate.

It was dark outside, in that particular blue way that only barely precedes sunrise. I mean, it was pretty.

My feeling of being lost and alone in the world had nothing to do with what I was going to do, because I was looking forward to that, and it wasn't a case of lack of sleep, because I had gone to bed early. To prepare.

It was just being awake when it was dark out, heading out when everybody else was asleep, being pried out of my normal routines and patterns, and the weird sensation of falling off the edge of the world.

Once I got going, up to Hollywood Blvd. and the bus stop and all, it was fine. I felt like I was just participating in the noble movement of people who get going early. But before then, when it was just me, it gave me this sense of being taken out of life as it should be lived.

There have been a number of occasions in my life when I've had to work on a Saturday. It's not actually that bad, although the cumulative effect of having only one day off a week can be pretty crummy. But it is bad and hard, for me at least, to feel this sense of moving outside the tide of normal working life, of people who use Saturday for brunches and house cleaning and whatever else.

What's funny is that in retrospect, when those things are over, they tend to seem oddly comforting. Me in my office on a Saturday, puttering around, un-harassed by co-workers and bosses, pulling something together.

1 comment:

Noko Marie said...

I often have to get up at 6:00 am and I have the same feeling every time -- if it's dark out, anyway -- no matter how early I go to bed. I'm shaken, confused, feel not a part of the ongoing world in the right way.

Just as you describe, though, in twenty minutes things are back to normal. You have some coffee, catch the bus, see other tired people, and then it's just the ordinary feeling: it's early and I'm sleepy!

Hope you feel better soon, Captain.