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a random morning

Despite emptying my plate of academic home fries, it has been reloaded this week with emotional mashed potatoes. So thanks for sticking around. And if you were waiting for an update, here it is.

With all the ups and downs I’ve been through this past week, it’s been hard to think of something fun or interesting to post about. It feels like these last few days have been a monochromatic blur, of wake up, do all my stuff I need to do, usually being late or just under the wire, grabbing coffee and food when I can, collapsing on the bed or couch, catching up with the parental units or any news from the day, attempting to do some reading or work before going back to sleep (usually too late) and do it all again the next day.

But this morning was a little different, mostly because I read random by debbie tucker green for British Drama class today. I’ll someday get around to doing a Flip the Script on it, but even though it was just 50 pages, it really profoundly affected me. At the beginning, I was annoyed with green, but by the end, I was having thoughts I didn’t think I’d have, and just felt…spent. Not in a bad way, just in a world-weary way, putting myself in the shoes of the characters. I mean, yes, my problems are not nearly as big as what happens in random, but to me, my issues are what I have to deal with each day, me, and only me; just because it’s not gun violence or knife attacks doesn’t mean the tough moments of my life are not real – even if they are more in line with the personal/emotional/mental than about physical safety.

After today’s discussion of random, we were assigned to pair up and tell each other about our mornings, from waking up until this point; while one person would tell the narrative, the other would write as quickly as they could, capturing the relevant moments to create the narrative, and then vice versa. Arielle and I were partners, and it proved to be a more telling exercise than I’d first thought it would be.

I will not be sharing Arielle’s morning here, and unfortunately, I did not ask Arielle to give me what she wrote about my morning, but it went a little something like…

“woke up at 4:15, went back to sleep, woke up again at 8, talked to parents on the phone, hung up, went back to sleep, woke up again at 9:00, contemplated not going to class today, do i really want to get out of bed, face the world of judgement, no one’s judging me here, but i should get up, i really don’t want to rush, want a healthy start to the day…but i guess that’s not happening. time to get up, face the elements, feet on the carpet, walk to the bathroom, turn on the shower, wait for the water to warm up, put in contacts, the blurry world becomes clear, get in the shower, wash my dirty self, prepare for class, go to class.”

And that was my morning, debbie tucker green style.

After hearing it read aloud to the whole class, I felt like I had just crossed a line, tipped my hand too much. I felt like I wanted to swallow myself, and in an unusual moment, I did something that I have never done before: stuck my right hand in my mouth and bit down gently on the four fingers I fit in there.

I left class feeling more down than before, and dreading the rest of the day, starting with the weekly TA meeting. I got to the meeting 10 minutes early, and was the first one there. Jo showed up about 5 minutes later, and as soon as she asked me what was the matter, the blubbery mess me bubbled to the surface. My head started to shake, and I could feel my tear ducts filling up. Just at the moment they were about to overflow the banks, everyone else came in. I don’t know how I did it – I didn’t even rub my eyes – I just blinked, and the tears receded from whence they came, and I wasn’t sad anymore.

Well, not on the verge of tears, but…my tears retreating into my face.

That’s something that’s never happened to be before.

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Five Songs That Make Up a Happy Morning Playlist

Goooood morning from Madison. It’s the first day of school, and instead of sleeping in like I have been all summer, I actually beat my alarm clock up at 7:45 AM despite going to bed at 1:00 AM – if you know me, this is a miracle – and had the energy to emerge from the bed about 30 minutes later. Since then, I’ve showered, had an omelette and an iced cappuccino, played too much Secret Society, watched a podcast, done the New York Times Crossword, and read about 10 blog posts.

But back to today’s topic:

Waking up early is a treat, for me at least. It means I have the whole day ahead of me, and I want to start it right. Usually that’s the last thing I tell myself before opening my eyes again at 1:37 PM that afternoon, but you get the picture. Behold, this list that will get you up and at ’em on the right foot.

Five Songs That Make Up a Happy Morning Playlist

1. Zooey Deschanel, “The Fabric of our Lives.”

Yeah, it was from a commercial about cotton, but it’s just so peppy and morning-like that you can’t not smile. It actually sounds like it could be an actual jingle from the 1950s or 60s, sung by Brenda Lee or Little Peggy March. Zooey Deschanel is kind of annoying, but this song made her grow on me a little bit, like antique moss on a plastic potted plant.

2. Lena, “What A Man”

Lena Meyer-Landrut is one of the few talented progeny of Eurovision, and this acoustic morning-show rendition of En Vogue’s “What A Man” has just the right coffeehouse vibe for a low key morning. I used to listen to it while driving to the University of Houston, with hopes it would dispel any tzurris in my immediate future.

3. Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”

This song hearkens a summer morning with it’s opening words: “three little birds.” It’s like a gently flowing breeze to wake you up, rather than a harsh alarm clock. Honorable mention goes to Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You,” but CBR’s got a little more soul to enrich that morning java. Plus, there’s an awesome studio version on YouTube somewhere where she’s singing it while doing other stuff like directing the sound check and writing stuff down, showcasing her vocal talent and giving AutoTune the middle finger.

4. Oren Lavie, “Her Morning Elegance”

You can read most of the specifics about the song in this Masterpiece YouTube from about a year ago. If you don’t want to click (even though you totally should), I’ll give you the short version. The lyrics, combined with the bells, strings, gentle percussion give this song its morningness, plus the fact that it has the word “morning” in the title. Listening to this song brings back memories of misty mornings in Jerusalem, mornings in autumn and winter with a bit of crispness to the air and maybe some fog. Add some shoko b’sakit, corner makolet Israeli-style cappuccino, or one of those awesome breakfast trays, and it’s heaven on earth.

5. Dolly Parton, “Nine to Five”

You knew this one was coming, it’s pretty much unavoidable. Dolly Parton’s working-woman anthem is for those mornings when you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. The horns and typewriter sounds are just enough jazz to steer your ass to the kitchen for your cup of ambition.

Honorable Mention: “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray. Works best if you are actually in Baltimore. Or Ecuador.

So, enjoy the rest of your morning, as it’s almost afternoon here in Madison and my first class is in an hour.

I should probably put on pants.