It’s no secret that when I get the sleepy-time bug, it’s sleepy time. Period. It has been ever thus, much to my friends’ consternation, from time to time.
In college, that time when you’re supposed to “stay up all night” my version was to go to sleep at 11 and get up at the crack of dawn: 4am, 5am, to study / do homework / etc.
In my later years of study, I was blessed to live with my friend Brown and his great dog, Bailey. When I would wake up at such an hour I would sit at my desk, the blankets still warm from my slumber, and work away until a single, solid, bonk of wet nose against my door would let me know that Bailey knew I was awake and was wondering, in that ever-so-polite-yet-insistent canine manner, if I wouldn’t please mind opening the door for him.
Invariably I would accompany him out to the front yard, where he would strangulate my New York times and then, bite-kill accomplished, head off to do what dogs do before playing a few fetches with me.
But the year before that, I didn’t live so close to campus. So I would wake up and drive into West Campus and park ( a task that, at that time, could only be accomplished via nepotism, Santería, or Fortune ) before walking to Mojo’s on 29th-ish.
The baristas never seemed too-surprised to see me, but were still a bit surprised to see new blood so soon after the last of the 2am set shuffled out.
I would get a big coffee, and sit, picking apart Monadology or some such.
Those early mornings were great things. You would see such interesting things at that hour and, in some sense, the world felt selfishly yours. The wet strets, for you. The sprinklers, standing for you.
In Austin, one can do this in shorts and a t-shirt most days of the year, sans any cloak or jacket. A virtue of this climate is the ability to get completely dressed in <10 seconds.
I’ve not done such in quite a while, but today I woke at 530 and got dressed. I took trash to the dumpster and heard two dog-walking ladies discuss a rash that indicated they believed themselves to be alone and unaccustomed to contact.
I opened the dumpster and found an middle-aged fellow dissecting a garbage bag in the dumpster receptacle area. He seemed shocked to see me, like a raccoon stopped in mid dig. I bade him goedemorgen and tossed my bags in.
I looked to the Northwest and saw a moon, nearly waning into nothing, such that it looked like a thin circle with a fat sideways smile against the deep azure blue of the night sky.
I saw the roiling clouds that foretell a scorching hot days’ wrath brewing and pushing hot air out of the Orient.
I then hopped in the car and drove down to Epoch café where, as I stood there ordering my drink, the fresh pastries came in. I took a danish.
And now I write you to tell you that much of the world goes on while much of the world sleeps and if you’ve not seen the dawn lately, maybe you should.