Friday, May 24, 2013

The World @ 3 A.M.

On Thursday morning I arose at 3 a.m. to begin writing.  My aim was to get to the heart of the matter, especially as it pertained to certain short stories slated for publication, but which I had not yet proofed for the galleys.  And besides, I couldn't sleep since I have refused to turn on the air conditioner and the bedroom was stifling.  Becky was really hot, but she was asleep.  And my son was just turning in for the night (i.e., going to bed).  There was no other alternative except to rise and attend to my writing affairs.

I did make one concession in the darkness, however:  I waited until 5 a.m. to make the coffee.  When Becky came downstairs to iron a blouse she asked, "How long have you been up?"

"Two hours," I said.  "And the coffee is ready."

But I like watching the sun rise.  And writing so early in the morning also gives me time to think about going to the gym, about being the first one in line to work my way down the rack of dumbbells . . . so I was there by 7 a.m. and already warmed up.  I don't talk in the gym, I work.  And I was finished in twenty minutes.

But at 3 a.m. the world is silent and still.  I sit on the couch in my underwear, laptop in hand, in the dark.  I read the emails that have come in overnight--my night--and as was the case on Thursday, I had one new email from an editor in London.  I wrote back, knowing I was probably reaching that editor in the heart of a London day, some twelve hours "future".  

Writing at 3 a.m. isn't pleasant.  Heck, I'd rather be sleeping.  Who wouldn't?  But there's something to be said for jolting the senses, jarring the mind with mental anguish and the eyeballs with light, writing outside of the comfort zone of full-night's sleep.  Writing like this . . . I'm never sure what I'm going to get.  Might be something truly spectacular.  Might be trash the following day.

As for that first cup of coffee at 5 a.m. . . . is there anything better?  Writing and coffee.  Goes hand-in-hand.

But one of these mornings at 5 a.m. I've gotta walk down to Dunkin' Donuts.  I hear they make a mean pastry.  

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