Dear God! Up to now, I´ve done pretty well. I haven´t lost self control when things got tough, haven´t mistreated anyone, haven´t been too selfish or envious. I haven´t lied to anyone or treated anyone unfairly and, as a rule, I haven´t gorged myself. But, dear God, in a few minutes I will be getting out of bed, and at that I point, I will definitely need your help. Thank you! Amen…oh yes, and please grant that I can open my eyes. Thank you! Amen.
That is about how my morning prayer sounds. That`s how I start the day. But just now, I actually did tell a lie. I don´t regularly pray before getting out of bed in the morning- often I just don´t have the strength. And in addition, starting the day is a much too dynamic expression for what I do, when I get out of bed and make a weak attempt at imagining the challenge of a new day beginning.
Like a blind man who gazes into the sun for the first time, I stumble into the bathroom. It is true, however, that a shower works wonders: Just a minute ago, I was a total mess, dragging around the room and complaining, and now, I am a total mess, dragging around the room, complaining and smelling like the ocean breeze. In all honesty, one would have to visit all the oceans of the world to find one that, on a good day, smells as good as that shower gel.
Having been thus transformed, it is time for me to begin my morning ritual in the kitchen, which due to hundreds of repetitions, is practically semi-automatic,….unfortunately, not always in the right order. Some mistakes are pretty harmless, like for example first spreading the jelly on the toast and then trying the apply the butter on top, It gets a little bit more complicated when I push the button on the automatic coffee machine before I have placed a coffee cup in its proper position. The plus side is that the frustration while mopping up the puddle of coffee on the kitchen floor has approximately the same wake up power as the caffeine in the cup of coffee I missed.
Caffeine is supposed to bring my spirit back to life! The problem is that my spirit resembles a corpse and would probably need about three large cups of strong coffee and a cold shower before anything similar to life would be possible!
My morning sport is a triathlon between refrigerator, pantry and kitchen table.
Shortly after my tired body has fallen into the proper chair at the table, I realize that the proof of my second and successful attempt at making coffee is nowhere to be seen. In addition, I see that I haven´t put the milk away. What had I done?!
I had carefully placed the cup of hot coffee in the refrigerator and then waddled to the table carrying the milk carton. After taking my seat, my head was filled with questions. How did the milk get here? Where is my coffee? Why am I sitting at the table?
In the mean time, the radio announcer has become a bit annoying, with his unnaturally positive attitude. I ask myself how many coffees he needed to get his propellers roaring at that speed, this time of day. But, in the end, I need him…primarily because of the weather forecast….which I usually miss…and his information about traffic conditions.
Usually though, I take the public transportation, because in my condition at this time of day, I tend to either forget my driver´s license or the proper pair of driving glasses, both of which I will only need if I can find my car.
Back to the radio, I find the horoscope with energy forecast particularly interesting. The energy ratings, regardless of your sign, usually range between 50 and 100%. That doesn´t sound too bad, but with my estimated minus 20% energy, I have a hard time finding my place among the stars…or the signs. My best guess is twins, because one person can not possibly feel so tired, after sleeping eight hours. It is however probably more likely that my sign is one of the less well known, either the sloth, the tse-tse fly, or the tick.
It is said that ticks are able to sit on a tree branch for 18 years without moving, waiting for precisely the right moment to jump onto the neck of an unassuming hiker and hang on tight. Their next meal is certain! After that much rest, I would be hungry too! In my present condition, I have no appetite at all.
Still not really awake, I wander into the bathroom, where it is my responsibility to wash a face I hardly recognize. My toothpaste seems dried out and tastes terrible. The fact that the words -comfrey salve- are printed clearly on the tube is no help to me at this time of day. On the other hand, I notice that my Achilles heel seems to appreciate the smell of menthol in the air.
Applying cosmetics at the beginning of a new day has its disadvantages.
It only works on one side…giving the eyelids the right curve, giving the lips the right form. It is anyone´s guess as to which side will work and which side won´t. There is no rhyme or reason. It doesn´t matter on which side I begin.
There may be some kind of secret agreement, by which it is decided which side of the face, on any given day, will be the cause of my early morning grumpiness.
Because of several necessary facial corrections, I am running late. In spite of that fact, just to be absolutely sure, I make one more security check round. The door is locked. The coffee machine is turned off. Of course, everything is the way it should be. As I try to leave the apartment once more, I forget to turn off the light in the hallway, and leave my office materials for the day on the table in the dressing room.
I trip my way to the stop, one block away, and force myself into the already packed street car. There it is, that I become thankful. I thank those who step on my toes, those whose backpack change my posture, and those who are so rested that they are capable of screaming into their cell phones.
Yes…I thank them. Because of their priceless contributions, I am finally awake!