Saturday, December 17, 2005


I am not a morning person, as I suspect regular readers have already guessed. Sunrise is something that, if my life is not regulated by work, I am more likely to see at the end of a day than the beginning. If I am forced by circumstances to rise with the lark, it takes a while for me to get going. I tell people I have low blood pressure, but it could just be laziness.

Last night I set the alarm for 5 am, as I do on Thursdays and Fridays, and this morning I dreamed that the alarm went off. In my dream I thought this was funny. Ha ha! I laughed. I'm dreaming that the alarm went off! What silly, paranoid tricks my brain plays on me!

Five minutes later I decided that JUST IN CASE I would check what time it was. It's probably only 4 o'clock, I told myself. I was looking forward to seeing the clock. It's SO nice to discover that I still have another hour.

I looked at the clock. It was hard to see in the dark, but it seemed to be saying 5.55 am. Not possible, I thought. My clock is broken!

I called to The Man, who was working on the computer to a deadline (today!) and was still up.

"What's the time?" I asked.

"OH SHIT! SIX O'CLOCK! SORRY!" came the voice from the other room.

I catapulted myself out of bed.


But I was brilliant. You would have been proud of me. I flung a bra around me and it miraculously hooked up at the back. I threw on some things I couldn't quite identify because my eyes weren't working yet in the sudden glare of the light but they were at the top of the pile (have I mentioned I'm messy?) so I assumed I'd worn them yesterday, and therefore would do. I hurled myself downstairs without touching the floor and made myself a cup of tea with lots of sugar so I wouldn't faint at the train station when I stopped moving, and floated swiftly back upstairs without spilling a drop. I sat and thought for two minutes, furiously sipping hot tea. I threw the stuff I'd brought home from work yesterday OUT of my bag, and threw a couple of other things IN. I waved a hairbrush at my hair and told it to consider itself brushed. Then I went out to the basin and tossed my contact lenses in the general direction of my eyes and they went right in. I stabbed myself in the mouth with a toothbrush. I picked up moisturiser and tossed it into my bag to do later. I hurtled downstairs with my bags, and then hurtled right back up again to get my coat. Then I got my boots on the correct feet and was out the door, tossing my bags AND the newspaper (I even remembered the newspaper!) into the baskets of my bicycle. I raced out the gate, hit the road, and suddenly slowed down, aware that I was in no condition to avoid hitting things that jumped out at me suddenly, like power poles or houses. Rode very slowly and carefully to the station, parked the bike, threw myself up the stairs, located my train pass with no problem, threw myself down the stairs, and found myself on the platform with three minutes to spare. THREE WHOLE MINUTES. Are you impressed? I was.

It was still dark, and I could see stars. Then my head started to swim as well, and I remembered that we don't see THAT many stars here, and none at the train station, and anyway stars don't normally swim around like that. I decided it might be a good idea to pace.

On the train everyone was bundled up and shivery, but I was remarkably warm. My eyes felt funny, though. It felt like if I shook my head too quickly my eyeballs might pop out and land on the floor. That was all right though. I didn't need to shake my head.

For the first leg of the commute absolutely nothing happened inside my head.

At Osaka I went down the stairs and then up again to wait on another platform for my next train, which was arriving in four minutes. I stood behind the very short woman who is always there at that time. She always peers down the tracks as if she doesn't really believe the train will come this time, Is it here yet, my god I can't see it I don't think it's coming this morning! As I was standing there a small but devastating thought finally decided it was safe to enter my head.

Under my coat, it is quite possible that there is no skirt.

This thought was so perfectly horrible and so perfectly plausible that I didn't want to check, in case it turned out to be also perfectly accurate. I thought and thought and thought, but had absolutely no memory of putting on a skirt. Just as the train pulled into the station I leaned down and pulled my coat open a little and checked. To my vast relief there WAS a skirt down there. I HAD EVEN REMEMBERED TO PUT ON A SKIRT.

Oh, yes, I was amazing this morning. You should have seen me go. I just hope that I don't have to be amazing again anytime soon.


Wendy said...

Whenever I read your blog on a Friday evening I am so thankful I don't live your life...what an ungodly hour to do matter which day of the week, but particularly on a Saturday. I too have a fuzzy morning brain...I simply could NOT do that bicycle thing in the morning.

kenju said...

WHAT? No photograph to mark the day?

I cannot imagine that you made the trains and lived to tell about it.

melinama said...


wulu said...

Time to get a new clock?

lynnylchan said...

Oooh, the skirt thing. I do know what that feels like. I have to check that I've zipped up after leaving the washroom. Absolutely have to, even though I seem to have some memory of zipping up. The opposite of your amazingness.