No alarm clock these days.
I don’t have to be in class at 9:30 any longer,
attempting to convince other sleepy people
that I know what I’m talking about,
so I’m slow to rise,
but then I’m old and move carefully.
Let me tell you how early dogs wake:
some time before God does
on one of His bad days.
The room is still dark,
and all I can actually sense
is three anxious-to-go-out hairy forms.
My wife, an extraordinarily kind woman and early riser,
whisks them away,
and the room is mine,
so I just lie there (or is it lay...),
watching nothing on the ceiling,
aware of how pleasantly close the comforter is,
my nose and ears the only cold appendages,
my weight and the resulting dent
in the memory foam mattress,
and how soft the pillow is
now that I have retrieved it from the floor
where the dogs pushed it in their hasty exit.
At an unscheduled silent signal
I turn the covers back,
very slowly lower my feet to the floor,
search for my slippers with my toes,
turn on the all-too-brilliant bedside lamp,
reach for the red water bottle,
and swallow my first handful of pills for the day.
Then I just sit there for a while,
letting the fog clear a bit
and the blood trickle down to my feet.
I often have the sense
that I don’t want to go to sleep at night,
because doing so only means
that I’ll wake the next morning
and have to do it all again.
Yet another day...
That would be interpreted in some quarters
as a signal that I want to end it all.
Now that I have the luxury of time,
a slow transition from horizontal to vertical is delicious,
easing into a day sure to be like no other;