Submerged in the depths.
Utterly still. At peace.
But then–a stab of pain. A sharpness, a sudden sharpness that drags me up through fathoms of darkness toward the searing light above the water. No! I must stay deep below the waves. Downward I struggle, desperately seeking the place where it cannot reach me, but I am weak. I am losing the fight. Steadily, angrily, it drags me up, up, up–past layers of heaviness and ringing and frothing brightness–until I can no longer resist the screaming in my head, and the noise and light consume me.
Then I reach over and hit the alarm clock. Time to start another day.
I have a love-hate relationship with mornings. Actually, that’s a lie. I have no love for mornings at all.
The Maiden is my opposite. To be honest, she actually is just like me, but more like how I used to be before three years of law school and six years of sleep-deprived parenthood laid me low. The silencing of my alarm is her cue to enter, stage door right. Mommy’s awake, which means that breakfast and other good things can now begin.
“Good morning, good morning!” she warbles, punctuating it with a series of Gene Kelly-esque taps, which fortunately are muffled thanks to the carpeted bedroom. Her cheerfulness is a personal insult.
I pitch into the dresser as I rub sleep out of my eyes, and the eyeliner–which I forgot to wash off last night–gets mashed all over my face. The light in the bathroom blinds me. My hair is a nest for birds. I can’t find my pants. The Maiden watches me in amusement and I brusquely send her downstairs to get ready for school.
Morning does not become me.
By the time she’s dressed and I’m dressed–pants found, makeup smudges fixed, hair hidden by giant hat–I’m alert enough to drive, but it feels as though a part of me has been left behind. I’m uncharacteristically silent on the 25-minute drive to school. She’s characteristically loud. She’s all books, and singing, and her plans to save the world, or whales, or trees, or something, and Let’s tell a story about Hello Kitty, but no! Let’s make up tales about what your stuffed owls did last night, Mommy. Can we talk in owl? Hoot! Hoot! Why aren’t you answering me, Mommy?
Her voice blurs my vision for a moment. Part of my brain is still at home in bed. I wish the rest of me was, too. I just can’t get it together this morning. Or any morning, for that matter.
I let her loud hooting wash over me. I let carpool line wash over me. I let the audiobook’s narration wash over me on the trip home. I think about bed.
I enter the house. I shut off the alarm clock, which apparently has been ringing for the past hour, and the rumpled covers look at me invitingly. I think about bed.
Then my eyes spring open, suddenly and inconveniently wide awake.
I sigh, and then I make my bed and head into the office. Time to start another day.