Rise and shine


Are you a morning person? I’ve always been good with early mornings. It seems like you get more done, fewer people interrupt your flow, and you can move just a little more slowly. Mornings don’t bother me, but the process of waking up, that’s entirely different.

A long time ago, someone asked me why it was so different for me, and I realized it probably wasn’t. I wrote down what waking up in the morning was like for me not that long ago. See if any of this sounds familiar – you young folks out there probably won’t relate, but who knows?

First, the relentless electronic honking from my iPhone jars me awake and reminds me that I am, in fact, not dead. I struggle for consciousness and fumble to silence the alarm noise. A moment or so later, I locate the strength to pry my eyes open, revealing the world to me in chaotic splotches of light and darkness.

I babble something unintelligible to, well, no one as my senses try to reboot. Another long, exasperated, “Ugh,” escapes my lips and my body is making sounds as I move that remind me of breakfast cereal – snap, crackle, and pop. I blearily push myself to an upright position on the edge of the bed.

My feet finally make contact with the floor but my legs have yet to receive the wake-up call from my brain and wobble awkwardly to life. Finally, in what I can only describe as some kind of bullfight with gravity, I slowly stand up. Balance, that’s what I need now. Equilibrium fails me at first as my internal gyroscope goes wonky and I plop back onto the bed. Well, at least I’m sitting upright at this point, right?

I squint at the light coming from the bathroom. I close them again. “I hate this part of the day,” I growl, in a low, gravelly version of my voice. There’s no one around to hear it anyway. Everyone else is up and moving. So, since I was finally on my feet, I should probably make some attempt to begin the exhausting trek to the shower. It seems so far!

I look down again at my feet, recalling the song from that old Christmas TV special about how Santa got to be Santa. I lift a leg and try to put ‘one foot in front of the other.’ “The bathroom needs to be closer,” I think, reaching for the door facing to secure my balance. “Ok, not much farther,” I mumble, as I finish the 6 or 7 whole steps it took to get there.

“That’s a really dumb show,” thinking again back to the Santa thing. Wheezing as if I’d just run a 5K, I thoroughly fail to pull off the whole ‘walking’ thing, it was more like a controlled stagger. Finally, I am basking in the full glow of the 4 vanity lights. (Yes, there were 4 lights. If you know, you know.)

Everything is louder at that time of the morning like my head is in a metal bucket. Flushing the toilet sounded like a bomb going off in a giant glass jar. The toothpaste even echoed as it spread across the brush.

I move closer to the mirror and examine the image. The reflection that should be my own seems different than my mind’s eye recalls. Instead of a youthful, boyish image, someone has hung a frame here around a different picture. Wrinkles, white whiskers, and weather-worn eyes stare back at me from a once-familiar face. “What happened?” I say to myself, still trying to comprehend the moment. “Who is this old guy wearing my pajamas?”

Just then, my wife comes through the door and stares at me, partly amused, partly annoyed. “It’s about time, your alarm must have gone off five times,” she says, hands on her hips and amused that I sometimes seem to her like a little kid who’s just been rousted up to get ready for school.

“Yeah, I know,” I reply glancing over at her, then back at the mirror. After a few moments, I accept the image of the guy looking back at me. “Time to rise and shine.”

Gery Deer is a Greene County resident and columnist. He can be reached at www.gldcommunications.com.

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