Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day two hundred and eighty seven ... My morning sweetheart.

I don't have a girlfriend.

That said, the morning is my muse.

I set my alarm sometimes so she doesn't have to.

When I get up ten seconds before it goes off--so she can sleep late if she wants--she has always beaten me to it.

She has her own job to go to at noontime, and it takes her out of town for most of the day and night.

It seems like easy work, but I'd get tired of no days off if it were me.

But every morning she's there. Every morning, when I rub my weary eyes and stretch my back (which I fear may never be fully right again), she's right there to remind me that you can rely on some things, regardless of how random and unfair the world we live in may seem at times.

I never used to like girls like her. No, I always preferred the dark and dangerous creatures of the nighttime. It seemed so much more exciting and raw. The darkness covered up so much of my identity, from my bloodshot eyes that thrived in the shadows, to the state of mind I induced to talk in earnest. 

The mornings always scared me, because they saw me as I truly was--or at least as I was without my accouterments, and that was close enough. 

I used to treat the morning like dirt, often engaging in behavior that some reserve for after-hours activity. When I wasn't doing that I would totally ignore her, sleeping untill noontime or later, and dreading her return.

I'd see her in passing and wonder what some people find attractive about a girl like that--so demanding and stark--and as I asked the question, I knew that I stood a chance to someday find out ... it was just a matter of time.

I now understand that I used to ignore what I was inherently drawn to because it gave me some room to grow and test the waters. It bought me some time before I said yes because it was right, rather than because it appeared right from my own misconstrued set of criteria. It allowed me to screw around and get hurt and keep banging my fist against the door in the alley because I wanted to be part of that club. I wanted to be accepted and embraced because I saw it all around me and it looked like so much more fun that I could have possibly imagined.

And then I wondered what took me so long, and I meant it.

But me and my morning, we get a lot done together, especially on the weekends.

Sometimes, during the week, she tells me I neglect her; I ignore her.

I tell her that we have so much time together most days, but when I have to work, I really have to work and it's just a bit of give and take. Sometimes she leaves for work in a huff and I think she's done with me for good.

And I make it through the afternoon and the evening and somehow fall asleep--tense, and afraid that I just lost the best thing I ever had.

And every morning I feel her rub my forehead gently with the palm of her hand as she slides in beside me carefully, slowly, but without hesitation. Often I turn away, pulling the covers with me until I come out of my dream-state--in which she plays a commanding role--and then, smiling, I pry my eyes open, raise my right arm and drape it around her, pulling her close, confident and aware that she came back for me. 

It's enough to make me cry most days.

But we all cry for the ones we love. Sometimes when they leave us; sometimes when they return.

And we spend the few precious hours together like we always do, with a strong cup of coffee and some cereal and fruit and we plan out our day. Sometimes we make some important phone calls, sometimes we pay our bills, sometimes we read, curled up on the couch--her with her existentialist Masters, and me with my music magazines.

Sometimes she just sits there while I play guitar and sing, gently, so as to not wake the neighbors.

And she wonders why I keep checking the clock.

She asks if I have better things to be doing.

And she knows the answer before she asks it--because I don't.

I just wish there were more numbers on the clock, more rotations of the earth, more phases of the moon, more months in the year, and more hours in the day.

Because I love her so.

And she, me.

And all the petty arguments and assumptions and suspicions one can stumble upon or concoct will not break our bond. They only strengthen our resolve and tighten the strings of confidence that wrap our tender emotions in a bundle.

People ask me if I'm seeing someone on a regular basis.

I always tell them it's complicated.

And they know better not to dig further.

Meanwhile, I just smile and look at my watch.

She'll be here soon.

That, I can be sure of.

Thanks for reading.


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