I wake up before the sun rises, laying in bed contemplating when my alarm will go off, dreading the bee-bee-bee-beeep bee-bee-bee-beep, the sound of reality reaching out through a banged up twenty-two year old piece of plastic, run on a AA Battery, slamming the snooze button down hard enough to shut it off, but not shut off life, roll out of bed to the sound of cracks in my not so young body, rubbing the crusty sleep out of my eyes, walking blindly toward the bathroom to perform my daily ablutions, the routine of it all not lost on me, this monotonous journey of reality, not the anticipated reality of my youth, traveling through the hot, sandy Sahara desert on camel back, turban wrapped around my head like the Maharaja that I surely would become, nor the white sandy beach, warmed by the touch of a tropical sun, watching the sun set over a clear, calm sea.
I drive down bumpy roads, marred by the plethora of trucks, cars and bikes that make there way through this concrete jungle, past the old barber shop with the red and white candy cane striped pole, well past it’s expiration date, the red more burnt orange now, next to the polished, sleek and gentrified NOPA, the contrast so completely different, you’d expect them to be in two different towns, let alone next door, passing by the mural wall that changes from week to week, laser eyed cats to stark white paint — a reminder of what a diverse and crazy city this is, on to the motorway with all the zombie automaton-like humans, doing their routine, blindly, with little to no passion as they drink their bitter, hot coffee from one of 50 Starbucks in a 7×7 radius.
Sometimes my mind gets pulled from the automation of it all, in the direction of adventure, of freedom, of bliss – I hear laughter and passionate cries of a life well lived…..like bubbles.
I sit, I stand, I stare, I piss, I lecture, and listen and talk, in various order for 9 to 10 hours of the day, heading back on the motorway, the mid-day sun that promised life as I stared out past my buzzing computer monitor, now setting behind the hill, a fraction of its warmth left on my steering wheel, a reminder of what has come and gone once again, zoning to the sound of the radio news anchors – Egypt, Libya, Syria, Japan, an annoying jingle for 1-877-CarsForKids that gets stuck in my head, yet I’m too numb to switch it off, battling past the same people in their metal cages, slowing, stopping, breaking, cursing as we put-put our way to our homes.
Climbing back under the same covers I left this morning, slightly less fresh, my head crashes to the pillow in exhaustion, in defeat, knowing the routine will start again tomorrow, looking forward to escape, I yearn for my real life, the life of my dreams, my hidden reality that will one day expose itself – just not tomorrow.
This was a writing assignment for the current class I’m taking, written without stopping for 10 minutes. The assignment: try to mimic the form/style of Ellery Aker’s piece, What I Do.