As the daylight hours wane into fall, it's tough being an early bird. Time was, I used to enjoy getting up before dawn, making a pot of coffee, and cracking open a fresh pack of floppy disks to write yet another chapter on a book. I'd have to wait a couple of hours for the morning newspaper to arrive, and then I'd read the news over a plate of eggs, perhaps, or a bowl of oatmeal. Later, I might even meet someone else for breakfast at seven or eight, and still have a good day's work completed before the rest of the house was up-and-at-'em.
Last week I did manage one productive morning in which I was first at the gym (when it opened at 5!), then returned home to drink protein, write for two hours, and then read the paper . . . long before the school buses started to roll. I wrote a bit more later, and by the time 9:30 rolled around, I felt I'd already put in a good day's work.
One thing I've noticed, there are fewer people at Wal-Mart at 5 a.m.! I'm not kidding. A person can actually buy a week's supply of groceries without having to stumble over inebriated shoppers or making idle chit-chat with old high school friends. (These folks always want to know: "Holy Nosebleed! When did you shave off your mustache?!")
And, since I do most of the grocery-shopping in our house (yes, I do the marketing once Becky begins teaching) I tend to shop fast. In fact, once school begins, I do everything quickly. I talk fast. Walk fast. Even love fast. My wife isn't sure, in fact, if anything ever happens between us. Sometimes she thinks it was all a dream, and it certainly was a blur. Kind of like streaking . . . she thinks she sees skin, but then it could just be the camera angle or her worst nightmare.
Today was an early day. Before my wife steps out the door to begin her very early teacher-induced drive to Lebanon, she will wonder: "How long have you been up?"
I won't have the heart to tell her that I've already written an essay before brewing her morning coffee and cooking her breakfast. I could serve it to her in bed (and sometimes do). And I certainly am not going to tell her that I am planning on going to the gym and cooking breakfast for my son . . . and perhaps writing another page or two before getting ready for my real job.
I'll save all of that for later, for tonight, when we are sitting around the campfire smooching after sunset. Which reminds me: I've got to buy wieners, and I've got another essay to write this evening . . . perhaps a piece about the perfect kiss.