No one in this house got enough sleep last night and I can feel it in my bones. So rather than sitting attentively, energized, at my desk, I’m curled on my couch, thinking of random things.
I used to love those email surveys that would come through every once in a while, strange and useless questions that you’d answer and forward on, waiting for your friends to do the same. How do you like your eggs/Have you ever been in love/Did you graduate from college and if so, what did you study?
I used to answer those while sitting in a cubicle at my first job, afraid that someone would see me. I was 21, 22. Restless. One day the boss called me in to his office and I was certain I’d been found out, about that time theft or about maybe how I ate my breakfast at my desk every morning or maybe how I’d regularly visit my friend working on a different floor or joke with the ones sitting near me. But no: he wanted to give me a raise. I went from $9/hour to $15/hour, which was and is a huge jump.
When I worked there, I’d take the metro every morning out of DC, where I woke up to jazz on my clock radio, the one that had a CD player in it. I loved the spring mornings there, in my ground floor apartment with the bars on the windows, where I felt safe and anonymous. From my bedroom, I peered out at the people going to work before me, the women in suits and sneakers, their heels in their bags, the men hurrying and in clusters. For some reason, those moments in that apartment – my first as an adult – are so vivid still that I’m sure I’ll think of them in my last days, hopefully many decades from now. And I won’t mind. I felt so very alive.
I have always adored the very early mornings. Well surely that’s not true; I didn’t embrace them in high school or college, I’m sure, when the latest nights held the most promise. But now, I like the secrecy of the morning, not knowing if others are awake, not caring. I get up around 5:00, which is difficult after a night like last night, but it means that I have the deliciousness of moving alone through my house for a little while. The sun is already turning the sky brighter by the time I walk into my kitchen to start my espresso, and I think of far-flung and long-ago early mornings elsewhere, in Spain or in Ireland or DC again, and how they live on inside of me.
I cleaned yesterday. For the first time I can remember, I got on my hands and knees to scrub the floor. I vacuumed and dusted, did dishes again and again, folded piles of laundry. It was so very satisfying and as I watched my child throw an occasional bite on the floor, as I dropped things here and there, as the toys migrated across the living room floor for the millionth time, I remained pleased. It was nice to know there had been an effort.
And so, a deep breath for this Monday. I hope you have a nice one. Maybe I will stretch now, maybe I will read. I’m certain my alone time is nearing its end, and when it does, my favorite little person will be there. What of these days will I remember, the exhaustion so visceral? Hard to say, impossible to know, but I dive in all the same, and know this time is fleeting.