The first thing I do is press play. Won’t you try?
He starts his day in a different way, different from you, different from me, different from most of the people in the world. Though perhaps that isn’t accurate. He starts his day at a different time than most of us, but perhaps the manner isn’t that dissimilar at all. His alarm goes off and he springs into action. It’s not that he enjoys mornings, you see, because he doesn’t. Or that he got enough sleep, you understand, because he never does. It’s that he hears that alarm click, that tiny noise followed by a split second of hesitation, when the alarm takes a subtle breath to prepare its scream that he wakes up to, and he viciously slaps at it. He tries to catch his alarm on the inhale. It’s that he feels the need to move, to act, to attack the new day. And also, he knows that if he thinks about it too long, he’ll fall back to sleep.
He stretches and groans and yawns, and stretches again. He looks at the clock, trying to figure out if its 8:30 AM or PM and the reason for such a wicked alarm. Work. Fucking work. He exhales, leans back and looks at the ceiling, his muscles hurt, and he’s slow to realize that he’s alone in his bed. This should come as no surprise as its been years since he had a regular companion, though somehow it only seems to bother him when he first wakes up. Perhaps ‘bother’ isn’t the right word either, maybe he just ‘notices’ that he’s alone. And even then, its only for a moment.
He stumbles over to the battered thrift store kitchen table that serves as his desk, and rummages through the clutter. This fantastic mess of papers and articles and notes and ideas surround his laptop. He smiles at his mess, perfected by that antique globe acquired via a gypsy in Portland. He pushes play, much like we just did a moment ago, on something with a beat, anything to get the blood flowing, the juices pumping. Something alive; for he needs to feel alive, and he also needs a steady diet of beats to survive. He awkwardly dances, or perhaps shuffles is the more accurate term, down the hall to the shower.
He tries to make it into the shower before he’s truly awake. Somewhere in his travels he came to realize that this is an effective way to get moving in the morning. And now that his morning occurs at night, he needs all the help he can get. Let his water be cold, uncomfortably cold, let him feel truly alive. The night air will be cold, his best bet is to get used to it now. He steps out of the shower and stares at himself in the mirror. He evaluates. He wonders. He thinks about shaving, but he usually won’t. The hint of a beard protects his face from the cold, and the chemicals at work, and the night, and this life. Besides, it makes him look older.
He makes his coffee strong, probably stronger than you or I would drink it, and he always leaves it black. Drinks that first cup quick, and makes sure that it’s hot. Let it burn, just a little, embrace the feeling. Watch his pupils dilate from caffeine; he’s starting to feel alive. He steps out onto the fire escape with his second cup, wearing just his boxers. The cold metalwork sends a quick shiver up his spine, and goosebumps break out across his naked shoulders. His hair still wet as he surveys the scene below. He listens to the sounds of the night alive with the passion of those out making memories. Down on the street, he sees the young lovers walk hand in hand, and the packs of boys out on the prowl.
He remembers fondly a couple of weekends past, when he met that girl at the bar, the one with the smile that implied she had stories to tell. How her finger tips teased his in a dark corner of his favorite bar, before kissing him softly on the collarbone and disappearing into the night.
He doesn’t think for long though as he checks the clock with a sigh. Time to pull on the Dickies and head back in for another shift on the overnight.