i finally hear it

The alarm clock makes a small noise before it starts beeping, like an electronic inhale to prepare its circuits.  I am already awake and hit the off button in the middle of the second beep. 

In the shower, the water drums my face, slicks my shoulders and gurgles down the drain.  I smile into the stream and hear a rhythm played against my teeth. 

The coffee maker hisses and purrs.  Hangers scrape against the bar.  For five minutes my world becomes the scream of the hairdryer. 

Whirr of tires on the highway, endless chatter of the radio, something is rolling around on the floorboard and clanking under the passenger seat. 

In the office, the fluorescent bulbs buzz above me and my computer plays a few notes to let me know it’s awake.  There is a screw loose on my chair making it squeak. 

A co-worker passes and tells me, “good morning.”  I answer and am surprised by the sound of my own voice.

is a little less death too much to ask?

My alarm clock is dying.  It’s set on buzzer, but instead I get a combination of buzzer and radio static.  I can’t tune any stations to come in clearly.  I used to be able to turn down the volume on the static but still hear the alarm.  No longer.  Now I am rudely roused from my blissful slumber by buzzing, crackling, squeaking and the occasional voice blurting out random phrases before it is lost in a void of white noise.  This morning, no joke, the alarm went off and before I could roll over and slap the snooze button,  the radio said “MENTAL ILLNESS” in a stern, announcer voice.  I contemplated not getting out of bed.

This is just one of about 42 trillion reasons why I am not a Morning Person.  Thankfully, I only have to endure the indignities of morning five days a week.  On the weekends I don’t rise until the crack of noon.

During the week, after the alarm clock is silenced, breakfast eaten and the rest of my morning routine completed, I hop in my car and start the 20 minute drive to work.  The first half of my trip involves tree-lined back roads and bucolic scenery.  If the weather is nice, I’ll roll down the window and enjoy lungfuls of fresh air.  My morning crankiness slowly subsides, and I even catch myself singing along to an 80′s classic on the radio. 

Before you can say “come on Eileen” I see the turn up ahead and my mood darkens once more.  I’ve come to the most dreaded leg of my journey:  The Highway.

It’s not the traffic, left lane hoggers or cell phone talkers that make the highway unbearable for me.  No.  It’s the roadkill. 

I love animals.  They don’t even need to be covered in fur and I love them.  Yes, I even love some of them grilled and slapped on a bun, but that does not mean that I love seeing them in various states of dismemberment along the side of the road.  Georgia seems to have such a wide variety of roadkill, too.  Most common are possums, but lately armadillos are just as prevalent.  I see countless squirrels, rabbits and raccoons.  One time, I even saw a cow as road kill.  It looked like a semi hit it.  Then there are the freakin’ deer.  Those are always a gory mess.  As the weather gets warmer, the body count climbs.  After only a few miles down the road I feel like I’m starring in some sort of sick horror movie or one of those films they show kids in driver’s ed classes.

Now, I’m not what you’d call “overly sensitive,” but I do have a soul and seeing this much carnage gets to me after a while.  Some mornings are especially bad.  After a few indistinguishable chunks of bloody flesh, I might see a tiny fawn, not even out of his spots, lying by the road looking so peaceful, you almost think he’s sleeping.  But he’s not sleeping.  Then, there are the dogs.  The dogs are the worst.  I imagine some little girl’s best friend dying alone, afraid and in pain while cars heartlessly speed by.  It’s more than I can take!

I start crying during my commute!  It’s ridiculous.  I’m a grown woman crying because of some dead dog on the side of the road.  Eventually, I get a hold of myself, but it’s too late.  

My face is a mess, makeup ruined.  I look like an extra from a goth metal music video.  And I’m depressed.  And I’ve just pulled into the parking lot at work and need to make myself presentable.  Then, I have to keep myself from remembering this incident throughout the day or else I’ll start crying at my desk and that’s downright dangerous.  I can’t show weakness or else my back-stabbing co-workers will be all over me like hyenas on a water buffalo.   

And that’s another one of the 42 trillion reasons why I’m not a Morning Person.