Before 9 A.M.

Darkness fills the room as my bleary eyes blink back the sandman’s gifts and my hand fumbles with the buzzing alarm.
I roll and flip and stretch; it’s not a circus act, just my body getting ready for the mobility of the day.
I find my jeans on the floor, pull them on, zip them up.
Pull a hoodie over my unbrushed hair;
a second hoodie over the first.

I run my fingers all the wall as I make my way to the washroom with my eyes closed.
I don’t need the wall to find my way, but its nice to know its there if I do.
Fumbling my hand along the bathroom wall I flip a switch up and behind my closed eyelids I can see the light.
Turning to the mirror, my hands on either side of the sink, I look at my self, opening one eye at a time, bracing myself for the disastrous hair-do and displeased look on my face.
I follow through my morning routine in 5 minutes. No less, no more.
Brushing teeth: 1.5 minutes.
Applying foundation, eyeliner, and mascara: 2 minutes.
Fiddling with my hair, seeing what its going to do today, throwing it back into a ponytail: 1.5 minutes.
I’m done. Lets go.
I scrounge my change from the depths of my bottomless bag as I walk to the train station that will take me downtown.
I never mind paying the 3 dollar train fair because paying a 150 dollar fine would make me cry and I don’t like to cry.
Wrong reasons, I know. But I don’t think the commute system really cares.
My face and persona let me pass as simply another commuter about to go to work and as long as no-one attempts conversation with me before 10 A.M. I won’t snap.
My cheery disposition has to warm up every morning as it is usually frozen solid in the course of sleep.
(Like mother, like daughter.)
On the train, I miraculously find an empty seat, so I take it and read a book for the entire 27 minutes of my ride.
Immersed in the novel, I almost miss my stop.

The train doors slide open and I am pushed into the crowd. I am the crowd.
The traffic of people and I make our way through the station, up the stairs, through the doors that are always automatically closed. We go down the hallway and everyone scatters off in their own directions absentmindedly getting prepared for their own monday.
It’s barely 7:30.
I am on my own now, I’ve lost the crowd that exited the train with me.
I walk in a daze; awake and yet not ready to make eye contact or speak.
Pushing open the last set of doors, I take a breath of the crisp morning air.
“It’s such a cliche”, I think to myself. “Crisp morning air.”
But it’s true. The air has a refreshing bite to it.
November has come and put a touch of frost on everything and in the distance I can see the tall buildings of the core of the city standing in front of the rising sun.
I see a dark try sky above me, stretching behind me and in front. It is cut off within two feet of the ground where my world curves over into something I don’t know.
A screaming orange mixed with dashes of blue spreads itself between the ground and the sky, easing the grey and the moon up and over.
If I was to watch it for a while I would see it move and feel awed and happy, but it’s still cold and I don’t want to stand here for long, romanticizing the new day.
It can do that on its own for anyone who’ll listen.
I blink to pretend I took a picture and I walk on.
I find an empty coffee shop. It’s not really a coffee shop.
It’s just Starbucks. It is empty.
I get my favourite table: Back to the window, face to the door, corner table. People-watching table.
I have yoghurt and green tea because after seeing the sliver of light thats on its way to guide my day, I can’t justify bogging myself down with heavy food and more coffee.
My usual internet sites are browsed and read and saved and then its 8:49. I feel heat on my back as the sun beams through the window.
Outside, the grey is streaked with baby blue and the screaming orange takes up the entire eastern side of the prarie-city sky.
The kids are in schools. The business people are in their offices. The construction workers have their coffees and are beginning their day, thankful that its not as cold as it could be.

Monday has begun, and it’s beautiful before 9 A.M.

Happy Monday, world.
All my love, Sarah


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