You’re not awake when you wake up. You struggle to remember who you are or why you’re here. Suddenly, a bright and shining angel in a green Starbucks apron hands you a Quad Venti Mocha Macchiato, and beams of heavenly light part the dark clouds of the morning at the first sip, imbuing you with power and energy.
You know what I mean?
Good for you.
Now imagine living in a world where your body can’t handle caffeine, where a single can of soda before noon can keep you up half the night.
I live in such a world.
Mornings are seriously the worst part of the day. I begin with many false starts, using four different alarms on my phone all with the snooze option on. Sleep scientists say you can’t achieve REM sleep during short naps, but I remain unconvinced as I have had full and epic dreams in the ten minutes between snooze alarms.
It feels like my eyes have been taken out and rolled in the litter box. I’m sore for no reason, congested without cause. I don’t remember who I am, or where I am, or why I feel as if I’ve been abused and left for dead in a God-forsaken alley in the lawless back streets of Hong Kong. (I have no idea what that actually feels like by the way, but I’m sure it’s close.)
I spend long, writhing minutes in bed coming to terms with the inevitable: No, I actually have to be awake now. Because reasons.
I never remember what the reasons are, but I know I have them.
My husband always wakes up first. He insists he’s not a morning person: he’s says it’s just that I’m more of a “mid-afternoon to evening” person. He may be onto something.
“Here, hang on,” he said once when I joined him at the bathroom sink. “You know, you could hold your hair up to your face like this…” and I stood there helplessly, still too tired to respond, while he did so, “and then you have a mustache! Oh, you’re adorable.”
Some days, I moan long and mournfully as I drag myself reluctantly through my morning routine. I moan as one hauling oneself hand over hand across the desert, fingers scraped and bleeding in the sand, crawling toward an ever-receding oasis, lips and throat as dry as the dunes. I moan like the unquiet dead craving brains because I can’t get my own to start up.
One day I decided my motto for the morning would be “Bah!” I liked the sound of it and felt that it aptly expressed my feelings as re: mornings in general. I lay in bed reciting it to myself over and over, practicing many different inflections.
“Bah!” I said as the third alarm went off, “Bah!” as Matt turned all the lights on, and “Bah!” as he placed his hands on my cheeks to kiss the top of my head.
He pressed his hands in, smooshing my lips. “You look like a fish!" he said, excited.
“Bah!” I said, unable to say otherwise with his hands on my face.
He said, "No really! Watch me! Bah! Did you see? Here, I’ll do it again!"
Another day, I woke up roaring, but not with any dignity like a lion or other jungle king, a small, squeaky, strained “Rawr,” lacking both emphasis and rage.
“You know,” Matt lectured from the shower as I lurched into the bathroom, “rawring at the day doesn't actually make it go any faster.”
“Yes, but it scares it,” I said.
“Sure, because you are fierce and intimidating.”
“The day cowers before me and I step on it, like so,” I said, stepping on the scale and sighing regretfully at what I found there.
From the shower, Matt said, “Are you getting in here, or should I turn the water off?”
I climbed in gracelessly, stepping on his toes. “See, you have to step on the day. Like this.”
“Shouldn’t there be more heel-grinding?” he asked.
I tried to demonstrate but slipped. “Rawr!” I said as he caught me.
He sighed, picked me up by the armpits, and deposited me under the water. “That’s right,” he said on his way to get dressed. “Rawr at the day. Step on it, fight it, or scare it away.”
Another day I whiled away the morning wallowing in bed and sighing loudly.
“You sound so excited,” Matt said as he put on his shoes.
“I was so excited,” I told him, “and I just couldn't hide it, so I killed it and buried it in the yard.”
He grabbed his wallet and keys and kissed me before he left. “Well, I know I know I know I know I know you want to, so have a good day,” he said.
Some mornings there’s pleading. Some mornings, there are tears. Some mornings I find myself at the breakfast table and don’t know how I got there. Some mornings I can’t remember if I’ve put on my colorless odorless deodorant or not and apply it again just to make sure. Some mornings I’m aware that I’ve applied my deodorant three times already. Some mornings I put my glasses on over my contacts and wonder why everything looks so fuzzy. Some mornings I can’t find my bra because I’m wearing it. Some mornings I don’t realize until I’ve dried my hair that I didn’t actually wash it while I was in the shower.
Mornings are terrible.
That’s why, comparatively, the rest of the day is so awesome.