Early to Rise

“Uplift” chimes on my iPhone at exactly 5 a.m. I fumble my hand around on the side table until my index finger is able to tap the glowing snooze button.  Ten more minutes of sleep is a gift this March morning.

A repetitive jingle interrupts a college party I’m at where both my principal and great aunt are in attendance. “Uplift” repeats its refrain causing my husband to stir and pull the covers partly over his face. I press snooze again but keep myself from falling back to sleep knowing I have morning duty which requires an earlier work arrival.

I coach myself to sit up after I count to twenty. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…

Slowly I drift back into sleep.  A heavy fog rolls into my consciousness and my eyelids close like heavy drapes. While I linger in this twilight phase, my superego reminds me I will deeply regret falling back to sleep. With a semi-conscious will, I manage to pull back the covers and step out of bed.  Immediately, my skin tingles with goosebumps.

I grope around the floor feeling for my sweatshirt, socks and Uggs. Then I grab my phone, book and water glass and tiptoe out of the room, cautiously.

There is no other word to describe both my physical appearance or movement other than to simply call it graceless.  I’m barely clothed, carrying a haphazardly stacked pile to the bathroom, swaying slightly off balance as I shuffle along the cold wood floor in bare feet.Related image

Medically, I might actually be considered dead.  My heart rate hovers in the low 40-beats-per-minute range.  I awkwardly slip on my pajama bottoms, socks, and sweatshirt then pull the hoodie up over my disheveled hair.  The night light illuminates my reflection in the mirror. Smudges of day old mascara and eyeliner form raccoon markings around my eyes.  The goth-look reflects my mood, gloomy and sullen.

It is necessary that I transform from the hideous Mr. Hyde to the gentile, well-mannered Dr. Jekyll before 7 a.m.

I steady myself, gripping the handrail as I stagger down the stairs. Five a.m. is pitch black for a reason.  Shadowy figures lurking about dimly lit homes should be left alone until the sun rises.

I reach for the serum, the elixir with the power to return grace to the graceless, charm to the charmless and wits to the witless.

I am one K-Cup away from salvation.

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