￼I hate having to wake up in the morning. Note the word choice: this is not a Depression post. I can rise early if I am excited about something, or even through force of habit, and be fine with it. It is the obligation of waking up that creates the bitterness in me. The notion of leaving my warm comfortable bed to go somewhere I don’t want to be and do things I don’t want to do struck me ludicrous as a child and strikes me ludicrous an adult.
I’ve been spoiled, of course. When I was a child, my mother would wake me with a mug of cocoa in bed and possibly some Girl Scout cookies. My mother is one of those rare unicorns who enjoys waking up early. I don’t know what trauma made her that way but she seems to cope. Perhaps 4 AM is simply the only time no one asks her to do anything.
As I get older, getting up became harder. I devised increasingly elaborate schemes to make myself rise when I meant to. In college, I started setting three alarms every morning to factor in the time I spent complaining about getting up into my routine. Now I store my alarm in the kitchen to force myself physically out of bed to turn it off. This stopped working the minute my morning mind discovered I could just go back to bed after turning off my alarm and repeat the action when my other alarms go off. I have started putting the kettle on to make coffee immediately upon waking so that if I back go to sleep my apartment will burn to the ground. The thought fills me with foreboding. At some point in the future, I will seriously weigh the horror of getting out of bed with the risk of pre mortem cremation.
I sabotage all my wake up plans. I buy some, luxurious sheets and memory foam mattresses. I fantasize about sleep number beds and massage beds and hibernating like a bear. I know I need to get up but I do everything in my power to make the joy of sleep even more heavenly for myself.
“But Kate,” you lament fruitlessly to your computer, “you are an adult now! You’re old enough to decide what you want to do and young enough to do it! You’re getting paid for it! Surely you wish to seize your life and truly live!”
Technically, yes. Technically I am in Los Angeles pursuing my version of the American dream, using my English degree, generally being a more for filled person. But, you forget nameless Internet reader, or my mom, I have no ambitions at 5 o’clock in the morning. Talk to me at 5 o’clock at night, particularly if I started drinking at 4:30, and I will regale you for hours on the power of stories and how entertainment has become America’s largest, non military export so people need to take it seriously. At 5 in the morning, I’ll throw something at your head. I’ll miss but you’ll get a good idea of my hate.
Now, I’m not claiming I’d turn down my own network show if they made me wake before the sun but I feel like I can write scripts just as well, if not better, at noon. After all, time is just something humans made up to explain our decaying bodies and to ease scheduling confusion (I will admit that 6:45 next Sunday, while ghastly, is infinity preferably to “at the cock’s crow ‘pon the day of our lord”). Maybe when we had predators 6 am to 6 pm was better than noon to midnight but now we have electricity and people worry about the decline of wolves. As much as I complain, we live in an age of wonder. I survive one of the most expensive places in the world through a combination dog walking and reading. Someone in this country makes their living compiling lists of the best cats on the internet!
Of course, we all know the only reason we can do this in the US is because some poor children in another part of the world slave in dystopian labor conditions that would make Upton Sinclair vomit. No one is denying that, except perhaps the GOP. I’m just saying that perhaps we could push our fellow human beings further into hell while suckling at capitalism’s teet after 10 o’clock. Just until the worker’s unite.
Of course, the real problem isn’t mornings or society. In my freshman year of college, all of my classes started after 11 AM and I was perpetually late. Sleep is amazing! If I am forced to wake before my body tell me to, at 6 AM or noon, to walk a dog or accept an oscar, I will be bitter about it! Disregarding the joys of not talking to anyone and not wearing pants, I don’t even have to support my own head! Beds are glorious! Every night, my bed welcomes me like an old friend, invites me to cast aside my burdens and let go of the weary waking world. If a day goes poorly, a nap will restore me. Bed is there for me when I need it. Bed has seen me through every one of my crises. Even when I have nightmares, all I need to do is go to sleep in the dream and I will wake up in my beloved bed. It’s okay, says the bed. Go to back sleep. You are safe and warm. and I believe it.
Like most good things, I recognize that sleeping until I feel like getting up is a but a dream. Even if I get everything I want, at some point I will have a meeting that can’t be missed or held on my sleep number.
Yet the fantasy still haunts me. Lounging on fresh sheets as the sun drifts past my window. It’s not laziness. I’ll get up to use the bathroom or refresh my mimosa. I’ll have a laptop and a shelf of books nearby to get some work done, if I feel like it. I’ll be productive, I’ll just be horizontal and well rested. It is an excellent dream and I have no desire to wake from it anytime soon.