5 am

The house is as quiet as it ever gets at 5 am. A darkly-lit vacuum where the only sound that can be heard is the coffeemaker if I remembered to set it the night before. Not even when they were little did our kids get up this early. My wife doesn’t get up until 6:30 am, so for as long as I can remember 5 am has been my time. My time to sit in my chair, or on the couch in the living with a cup of coffee and write. Our dog lying close enough to feel my pant leg so he knows I’m there – curling into a grey ball of hair and beard – sighing louder than most humans while I type away. Thoughts, reviews, musings, or just what comes to mind.

I was never much of an early riser. I’d sleep as late as I could any chance I got. As a kid 5 am might as well have been waking on the moon; dark halls and a dim light taunting just above the oven in the kitchen. The house was alien to me that early. I had a weird idea when I was little that the world was creating itself that early. That we weren’t supposed to be up that early because we’d see how the day was made and discover some cosmic secret. Looking back behind some existential curtain to see the day patching itself together. The night hid those secrets from us; the building of our world as we snored and dreamt for another hour or two before sunrise.

Of course, as a worried 8-year old I never took into account people that worked 3rd shift. Wouldn’t they see space and time patching together? Literally building tomorrow when they stepped out for their 5 am coffee/smoke break? Wouldn’t my own dad see it when he’d go in at 4 am sometimes? When you’re young and already a little high strung with an overactive imagination logic rarely plays into your panicky mania.

It wasn’t until I had kids and began writing regularly that I found solace and peace in the soundless, shaded world of 5 am. Maybe just the hum of the bathroom fan someone left on the night before and one lamp next to the couch on low, I’d settle in with a cup of coffee and begin writing. This is the best time of day for me, as my tired brain begins to snap, crackle, and pop awake. Caffeine working its magic on hazy eyes and stiff fingers, I open a floodgate in my brain and let loose the words from my head and heart to my hands and fingers. Tap tap tap on the keyboard, words and ideas paint the screen with zeros and ones.

It’s kind of a magical thing, this early morning process of ideas to page. Maybe someday when I can actually retire, or at least find a new way to make money besides destroying my body for a billion dollar corporation I can make this my everyday process. I’d love that. Get up early every morning and write for a couple hours, before the sun peeks up from the east. Go for my daily walk, get back and do some strength training, then maybe take a nap before round two begins before 10, 11 am. I’d really like that. I’d probably keep writing about music; reviews are fun and easy for me. And if I can earn a little extra scratch from it why not? But I’d like to write more and more about myself; my life and experiences. Things that have happened to me to make me who the hell I am now. There’s plenty of stories to tell. A collection of prose self-released? That’d be something.

But really, just sitting down and writing out random thoughts and feelings. Letting the anxiety out; the worry and concern that builds up over time after days, weeks of happy little mistakes and disappointment. The good stuff, too, of course. But just sitting down and typing and seeing where things go. Those are the writing moments that are the best for me. It’s kind of like having a conversation with myself. Talking it out with the hum of the fan in the hallway bathroom, and the warm light emanating from above the oven in the kitchen. Conversing with the bubbling noise of the coffeemaker as the dog gives me a side eye glance, beard disheveled with deep sleep chaos.

Just random thoughts at 5 am.

8 thoughts on “5 am

  1. I love those side eye glances dogs do. They have a few different ones. The ‘What’s wrong with you?’ look, or the ‘Can you stop with the noise?’, but the best is the ‘She won’t be happy when she gets home’ look I get when another record shows up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yup, for 34 years I woke up everyday at 5am as well. House as you said is quiet and I could gather my thoughts with a coffee and some reading of the blogs online before I went out the door at 6:30am. It really at times was the best as there were zero interruptions at that time!

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  3. When I had to commute over an hour to work, 5:30 was my time to get up, drink coffee and stare out across my living room before I had to shake a tail feather. Did that for YEARS. I’ve always preferred being early…that is until I started a gig that had me rise a 4:30. That is way too early, I’ve decided. (Lasted there under 2 wks, for other reasons other than an ungodly hour). A 7 am start is about as early as I can stand at my age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve worked 6 to 2 now for well over a decade. It’s the perfect hours for me, but I’m also only about 15 minutes from work where I live. I imagine if I had a timely commute I’d change my tune. But if I was taking transit to work that might not be so bad. I could write/rest/read/sleep on the way to work.

      Liked by 1 person

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