The morning comes too fast most days. The still of the night lingers into the dawn hours. Where I live, this time of year, mist seems to hug the ground as the Sun begins to burn through the upper atmosphere.
Most of us in the city sleep soundly in our beds, cocooned away from the world. Perhaps some with a lover or two, some alone. Some share the bed but are the loneliness amongst us. The party-goers don sunglasses, buy one last beer from the shops and head home. We might see them at breakfast and smile. Those that party all night on Tuesday are to be respected. The sex workers are tired, as are the all-night factory workers, both have punished their bodies for the meager dollar while the world slept. All working behind the scenes of the great play, all ignored by the audience.
The dawn light that filters in our windows rarely wakes us. Perhaps we sense it and roll over with a grunt. Our mind is still dreaming of clouds, girls we haven’t seen since high school and old bosses that are back to order us around.
Our gentle repose, the rejuvenation is shattered by shrill sounds- from phones, clocks, from the very bowels of hell that emanate to wake us, startled, from our rest. Those hours passed too quickly we will think, perhaps that last show wasn’t such a good idea.
We all have our routine from here on out. Some start with breakfast, others have this timed perfectly so they could sleep a little longer, at the price of rushing out the door.
For me, my first stop, after cursing my phone and its mother, is my kitchen. Down the hall I plod, the atmosphere hangs heavy with the night’s chill; the sun has not yet graced the windows with its warming rays. Through my empty living room into the kitchen I walk, hands busy rubbing my face and hair, trying to loosen the ropes of sleep that hold my brain down to the pillow.
In my kitchen, the coffee maker sits on the steel countertop. A black little machine with one function. Each morning it is the first object I interact with. My girlfriend will get a message in a bit, my shower will wash me down soon, but it is the coffee maker with whom I first make contact. Every morning we stare each other down, both here to fulfill our purposes. However, its purpose is clear cut. What the hell I’m doing at this hour is debatable. Nevertheless here we are.
I grab some ground coffee and a filter. The filter goes in first. Made that mistake a few times. Then three scoops of coffee. The bag is lit by the first rays of the morning Sun to stretch past the building next to mine. ‘Sumatra’ it says. I bought it because I want to go hiking there, perhaps see an orangutan. The bag has a tropical rainforest theme. It’s covered in esoteric words that I only have a peripheral knowledge of. Arabica, full-bodied, Turkish roast. They had me at ‘coffee,’ the rest is merely decorative.
I pour water into the basin on the back. All the way to the small line marking how many ‘cups’ I wish to make. I’m not sure if that measurement is an actual cup, or just a ballpark. Either way, I fill it as far as I think I can, close the lid and turn it on.
I put both my hands on the counter and step back into a stretch. I look at the floor as I stretch out my back and legs. I seem crumbs and dirt. The tiles are cold in the mornings. My body aches under the strain. The coffeemaker makes a gurgling noise and I look up. It seems not to be doing anything. It looks the same before I filled it with the necessary ingredients. It gurgles again but then returns to the silence that grips my apartment at this hour.
I step forward and stand upright. The gurgles are becoming regular now and some steam gently wafts up towards the ceiling. A spider up in the corner goes about its daily work, somewhere I’m sure a cockroach is scurrying.
I sigh and head to the shower. The coffeemaker is off to work. I guess I should be too.