Brief 1.4-ThreeThirty

alarmclock
The best alarm clock never rings. I set it, sure, before falling asleep the night before, but I awaken long before it ever starts ringing. Some dream woke me, still streaming story like sea foam streaking off some surfacing submarine. I turn off the alarm while fumbling for my glasses in the dark, holding a short phrase sleep passed to me to carry into this world. I slip into my slippers, quickly brush my teeth, and somehow avoid tripping over either cat as I creep downstairs to awaken my keyboard, repeating that phrase all the way.

It’s three thirty this morning; cold and dark outside. The light from my office window casts long shadows of the garden furniture across the garden wall. Not even the squirrels stir out there.

In here, though, I set to a work that feels more like play. I like to start early in the day, before anyone else has even thought of rising, so I can write in secret. Some of what I’m writing today would be unspeakable in the sombering light of this mid-Fall day, so I get it out before even I gather my senses. My senses will serve useful as censor, editing later; something else must write. Someone else must write. That separate someone who wakes before the alarm to sneak into secret communion, he’s the writer in the house. That guy who sleeps through the alarm, he might be fit for cooking breakfast, but little else. He will forget to shave and wake up just as his day ends, puttering.

I am ashamed of myself, the self who feels compelled to explain so he can hold onto the fanciful hope he might understand. He should have caught on that explaining displaces understanding, distracting so deeper meaning might finally sink in. This process should feel stupid, shameful, best attempted under the cloaking cover of predawn darkness. Safely saved away after extraction, the writing will seem the work of Shoemaker’s Elves, someone else laboring while I sleep, maybe dreaming.

I stumbled across this paragraph, a nearly perfect one, this morning. Carried across from who knows where by who knows who, someone smelling faintly of shoe leather and muted alarm clocks. ”Speaking knowledgeably about consulting carries the same conceit as speaking knowledgeably about love. Whenever the ancients found themselves backed into such corners, they’d start blabbering about the ten thousand things comprising every little thing. They’d throw a handful of verbal chaff to properly muddy the concept before proceeding.”

Time to wake The Muse now, my writing time’s expired. Real progress today, in those scant three hours between muting that alarm and muting myself.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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