Los Angeles, CA
I missed feeling the breeze.
The morning breeze makes you reach for a hoodie for an hour or two until the Impressionist-grey-splotches of clouds that make up the marine layer burns off and the friendly California sun bakes everyone's brain from the rest of the day.
The sweltering summer is officially over in Southern California, as the October morning breeze flowed through the open door and escaped out the dining room window. This is the fall season. No foliage like the Northeast. The ground is not covered in multi-colored leaves save for a crinkled fallen palm leaf. The only way you can tell it's October in L.A. is the bombardment of Halloween decorations in various stores.
A few minutes past the lifting darkness of the 7am hour, the birds who live in trees in the alley had started their chorus of chirping an hour or so earlier. The birds are the only ones up except a few dumpster-diving bums. The smart ones know that guys consume a significant amount of booze on the weekends, especially on Sundays during football season, so hitting up the recycle bins early on Monday is a sure-fire way to strike gold. The lucky bums cart away their booty while the unlucky ones nibble of rock-hard scraps of crust from a discarded Papa John's box.
I wasted a full Sunday devoting myself to the baseball playoffs and sweating all of my fantasy sports teams. I barely left the couch with one hand clutching the bong and the other maniacally flipping the "last" button on the remote as I toggled back and forth between football and baseball. The only moments of mobility included getting up to piss, getting up to retrieve more beverages from the fridge, and the odd times that I walk over to the dining room table to check the scores. On some Sundays, I paid more attention to the laptop than the games. I vowed to flip that around.
I welcomed the day off from the grind of being chained to my laptop, so I sprung out of bed on Monday to return to the old routine. First thing? I turn off the ringer then hide my cell phone. Bury it under a pile of clothes. The world will have to wait until I finish a writing session and I come up for air.
I open up the front door and windows, which airs out the apartment and lets the morning coolness instead. I wake and bake with a random jazz mix on low in the living room as the first inklings of morning light burst through the open curtains.
I set up shop at the hardwood table and the chair creaked as I sat down. The dining room set belonged to Nicky's deceased German grandmother. She ate thousands of meals off of the table. I wonder if she knows that I use it as my morning desk?
Although I have a small office (that my girlfriend was kind enough to redecorate for my birthday last year), I prefer to write at the dining room table in the mornings. For some reason, it shields me from distractions. These days, there are so many to ignore -- the news updates, overflowing email, Twitter, and urge to browse the abundance of content on random sports sites.
I usually stay in the same spot for an hour, maybe longer. Sometimes Nicky wakes up which is a cue that it's time for me to move from our common areas and retreat to my office for the rest of the day. She likes to work in the living room and since she also works from home -- she gets free reign.
Sometimes I write for several uninterrupted hours until the landscapers arrive at the houses or apartment buildings of the few clients that can afford to pay them for their manicuring services. The landscapers fire up their shrill-sounding machines. The echos reverberate down the alleys. Some days, there's a barrage of hammering and it sounds like they are constructing the Bridge Over the River Kwai. I've heard their loud sounds as early as 7:30am. I snicker but never say anything. Those illegals are armed with machetes. I turn up John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins loud enough to drown out the gargling sounds of leaf blowers and weed whackers. They have work to do and so do I.
The early morning sessions are the best sessions of the day because most of the time those words are not for anyone -- except myself. 90% of the time that effort gets shoved into the trash. Sometimes I save bits and once in a blue moon that fodder ends up here. For example, I can't believe I wrote almost 800 words about what happens in the mornings when I get up early to write. More importantly, I can't believe you actually read it.