I dragged my tired butt out of bed at 5:45 this morning and believe me, when I say dragged; I mean that quite literally. I am not now nor have I ever been a morning person. I always get up fairly early, by 6:00 or 6:15, even on the weekends, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. I just can’t sleep in any later than that, even if I go to bed late. It’s quite a dilemma.
My wife knows better than to talk to me until I’m fully awake. But of course that doesn’t mean she actually adheres to that practice. I’m not sure if it’s just that she enjoys annoying me or that she likes living on the edge; perhaps it’s a bit of both.
So, I got up this morning, threw on a pair of pajama bottoms and a t-shirt and stumbled down the stairs. Those of you who are observant have more than likely noticed that I got out of bed and threw some clothes on without taking off the clothes I wore to bed. That’s because I sleep naked! In the buff!
There’s nothing more annoying (other than, perhaps, my wife talking my ear off at 6 a.m.) than waking up in the middle of the night all tangled up in a pajama top or bottom or whatever you wear to bed. It’s infuriating! And let’s be real here; what could be more comfy than being all snuggled up in a nice warm bed sans clothing?
I got to the bottom of the stairs and took a sharp right into the kitchen. At that point I was still in a fog, still partially asleep, so the fact that the kitchen is easy to find, and the alluring smell of fresh-brewed coffee helped me maneuver my way to the coffee pot without any problem.
I poured some cream into a 16-ounce mug, threw in my Splenda and put the mug into the microwave for 30 seconds, which warms the cream and melts the Splenda. For some reason the coffee tastes better to me that way; one of my little idiosyncrasies! Then I poured the coffee into my mug as close to the top as I could possibly get it so I’m absolutely guaranteed to spill some on the way to the living room and then slop some all over my t-shirt while I’m drinking it.
You’d think I’d learn to leave some room at the top of the cup so I don’t spill but, like I said; I have these little quirks. It just so happens that I’m crazy enough to write them down to share with the world. You may think it’s self-humiliation, but it still beats the heck out of getting up and hauling my rear end to some boring office every morning.
I made my way into the living room, which was notably more difficult to do than navigating my way to the kitchen. I then flopped down into the recliner. As I reached for the TV remote I spilled coffee all over my t-shirt (I told you that was going to happen. You should have seen it coming). And, since I didn’t have a napkin, I cleaned the coffee off my t-shirt with a dry section of my t-shirt. I’m not sure that made a great deal of sense, but remember; it was early and like I said; I’m not a morning person. Besides, the t-shirt was stained anyway, so no big deal!
I sucked down my coffee pretty quickly and got up and went back to the kitchen to get some more. By this time I could almost see straight. Not quite, but almost, and I was hopeful that an additional 16-ounces of Joe would remedy that.
I headed back to the living room, again collapsed into the recliner, and methodically nursed my second half-quart of caffeine-laden nectar before getting up and going back to the kitchen to get a dishcloth to clean up the coffee I’d slopped all over the carpet. What can I say? It’s that over-filling idiosyncrasy thing again.
I cleaned up the mess I’d made on the carpet and attempted to gather my thoughts; a gargantuan task for me at this ungodly hour of the day.
I mentioned in an earlier column that I’m diabetic; that my blood glucose levels have been out of sorts, and that my endocrinologist has reamed my butt about not getting enough exercise.
In keeping with my doctor’s admonishment and since I’d like to live as long and healthy a life as possible; my plan for the day was to walk for 30-minutes before I started writing and then another 30-minutes after dinner. In keeping with my personal philosophy - Why me? – I reluctantly yet determinedly threw on my workout clothes and strolled out the back door to begin my walk. I’m not exactly sure one can be reluctant and determined simultaneously, but that’s how it felt so I’m sticking with it.
The air was quite cold, which helped tremendously in waking me up and getting me moving so as not to freeze to death. Okay, it wasn’t that cold, but I need something to complain about and this is all I’ve got.
I completed my walk and to tell you the truth (I’d only lie to you if there were money to be made and there isn’t), I felt great when I finished. I don’t know why that surprises me because whenever I get exercise, whether it’s working out in my garden or going to the gym; I feel terrific afterward, which is, naturally, the reason I don’t do it all the time.
I went back inside the house and went directly to my office to check my email. I got my first computer back in 1998. My friend, Alan Siegel, told me I should get this thing called email. I had no idea what email was so I asked him to explain it to me, which he did. I laughed and said something like, “That’s ridiculous! Why would I ever need that?” Nearly fourteen years later, if I don’t check my email within an hour of getting up in the morning; I go into anaphylactic shock. I’m pretty sure they don’t make an EpiPen for that.
While I was in my office I decided to check in on my Facebook page. I’m rather obsessive about checking in there several times a day to see how many ‘Likes’ I’ve gotten and how many hits I’ve had on my articles. This isn’t life and death to me, but it’s pretty damn close. Okay, I live for checking my Facebook page! There, I’ve said it.
So, I played around on Facebook for a while and then stated writing. While I was in my creative mode I checked YouTube for a song I wanted to work into my column; an attribute for which The View From Here has become well-known.
I found what I needed and went back to writing, all the while keeping an eye on my Facebook page that I’d minimized at the bottom of my computer screen. God forbid I should miss a ‘Like’ or a hit! I then decided to mess around a little on YouTube, searching out some of my favorite tunes from the sixties. Led Zeppelin, my all-time favorites from that era and of course, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix. There are more, but I’ll leave it with those three for now.
After lapsing into a YouTube coma for longer than I’m willing to admit, I went back to writing, during which time I messed around on Facebook now and then, popped back in and out of YouTube some more and then took a short respite from my writing to run up to Dunkin Donuts to grab a coffee before returning to my office and jumping back into my work with a little Facebook and YouTube thrown in for good measure.
Did I mention that I also checked in to my Twitter account? I have no idea why, other than that I was looking for another distraction – like I didn’t already have enough. You know, the logic of that whole Twitter thing still eludes me. I don’t get it, but that doesn’t stop me from posting the links to my work there. Just more exposure I guess. Frankly, I’m feeling a little over-exposed lately.
I finished my coffee and just as I was about to try to scrounge up some more, I discovered I’d left a half-full iced coffee sitting on the floor next to my desk. Talk about divine providence!
Of course it didn’t resemble anything any normal human being would dare put to their lips, but I’ve never staked a claim on anything resembling normalcy, so I scooped it up like Billy Buchner fielding a grounder at first base to win the 1986 World Series. Oh, never mind!
I sucked down that iced coffee, or what was once iced coffee but now resembled pond scum, and went back to work none the worse for wear, unless you count the queasy feeling in my stomach.
By this time my bladder was at or above capacity. Had I been the head of the Sewer Department, I’d have had to open the overflow valve to the wastewater treatment plant. That wasn’t a good option for me though, as I’m not particularly enamored with wet pants and puddles beneath my desk.
I made a quick yet productive trip to the bathroom and returned to my office feeling much relieved and eager to get back to work. I wrote for about a half-hour and was feeling pretty good about the progress I was making when my head began to ache. It wasn’t a throbbing headache, but it was uncomfortable just the same; a constant, dull ache that started behind my eyes and ran up my forehead to the back of my neck.
I remembered that I’d read that caffeine is good for headaches and it didn't specify that it wouldn’t help if the headache was actually brought on by caffeine, so I decided to give it a shot and got myself some more coffee. Sure enough - it worked!
Not being a big proponent of the less is more philosophy, I figured that if a little bit of coffee relieved my headache, a lot of coffee would keep it at bay until I finished my column, so I went out into the kitchen and made some more.
While I waited for the coffee, I went back into my office and started writing again, checked my Facebook page for the umpteenth time, popped onto Twitter, wrote a bit more and poked around on YouTube a bit.
The smell of the freshly brewed coffee called to me and I promptly ran (literally) to the kitchen, poured the cream into my cup, added the Splenda, popped it into the microwave for 30-seconds, took the cup out and filled it to the brim with coffee.
If this sounds vaguely familiar to you it’s because I’d done the same thing previously in the day and told you about it earlier in this piece. It’s my coffee preparation ritual. I do it each time I make coffee and I do it exactly the same way every time. It’s not that I’m obsessive-compulsive or anything like that. It’s just that I do the same things the same way every time – over and over and over again. I have to do that or I start shaking violently and break out in a cold sweat.
I took my coffee to my office and sipped it slowly while I got back to my work. Then I checked Facebook again, sure that someone had left a snide remark on one of my columns. Then I got another headache, more than likely brought on by the anxiety I was going through because of my fear that someone had posted on Twitter, telling everyone that I was paranoid.
I gulped down the rest of my coffee, hoping to alleviate my throbbing headache, went into the bathroom grabbed six Advil from the medicine cabinet, got a bottle of water from the fridge, popped the Advil into my mouth and sucked down the entire bottle of water.
Determined to finish my column, I went back into my office and began typing ferociously when I had an epiphany. Oh, it had nothing to do with my writing; I just realized that I really had to pee again – so off I went to the bathroom. I blame the water.
Okay. I’m ready now. I’m back in my office, totally revitalized and eager to get back to work.
Now where was I?
I’m so confused!
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker.