The morning people

Early to bed, early to rise — how the hell do you do it?

Are you a morning person?

I hate you.

“Oh, I was up before the nightly news changed over to the morning news. I watched the sunrise on the patio while I drank my cruelty-free probiotic organic tea, then I power-walked to Snell Isle and back along the shoreline, earning money for dyslexic war orphans with each step while a pod of frolicking dolphins high-finned one another and kept pace.”

Ugh.

I hope the rest of your day is a shitpile of traffic, secondhand smoke and fatty beef.

It probably won’t be; the rest of your day will probably be a satisfying succession of solved problems, productive coworker interactions and selfless gifts of philanthropy. You have the energy to do such things, because you’re awesome, possessed of boundless energies, a morning person.

You make me want to puke from both ends.

I haven’t always hated the morning people. When I was younger, I just pitied them. I would stumble in late for some job that involved chopping multiple heads of lettuce or shucking multiple bags of oysters or stocking multiple pairs of shoes, and listen to the chipper managers or salespeople talk about the previous evening’s TV programs, or joke about how early they’d gone to bed. And I’d think about my night, and wonder if there was any way the security guard who chased me out of the apartment-complex hot tub for trespassing could possibly be related to the bouncer who chased me out of the club for scamming my way backstage and drinking all the band’s beer and generally being too young to be there in the first place.

And I’d feel sorry for the morning people. You poor schmucks were missing out on everything. Everything! Arrests. Mystery bruises. Tinnitus. Mystery ATM receipts. Blinding hangovers. Mystery couches.

I mean, what else is there to live for, really?

So I went on about living what I thought was a dashing, enviable after-hours lifestyle, and shook my head and chuckled to myself when I heard somebody talking about how satisfying it was to hit the gym for a couple of hours before breakfast. Over time, the jobs got better. The car turned into something too nice to leave broken down in a parking lot or someone’s driveway on the other side of the Howard Frankland for weeks (or months) at a time. The apartment turned into a place to live rather than a thing to destroy, then into a house.

And my late evenings evolved into sitting on the couch, drinking Milwaukee’s Best Ice and watching reruns of Friends while exchanging pithy Twitter messages with other guys in their late 30s and early 40s who used to be night owls, and didn’t quite know how to be something else yet.

And wishing fervently that, more than anything, I could go to sleep.

But I couldn’t. I was up too late, too often, for too long. That’s when I really started to hate you morning people, with that cheap, petty, selfish sour-grapes hate that only comes from complete and utter jealousy. How hard is it to slip languidly into slumber at 9:30 on a weeknight, sleep soundly through for eight hours and hop out of bed to spend the day bettering oneself and the world?

I used to think, “Pffft. I could do that if I wanted to.” But I’ll give it, grudgingly, to you morning people — it’s a lot tougher than it sounds.

You won’t ever stride into your gym to find me negotiating the elliptical at a quarter to six in the morning. I don’t want to be that guy.

I would settle, however, for being the guy up early enough to give you the finger in traffic on the way to work.

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