There isn’t much I hate more than getting up early, yet I do it with constancy that belies my true feeling. I come to consciousness a mess, face swollen, mind deeply entrenched still in a dream, eyes a rabbity red that looks painful because it is. I require great quantities of caffiene and will fill my bucket with anything bearing the promise of making me come alive – acidic Folgers or delicious energy tiramisu in a glass, Whynatte or the odd extreme sport beverage found at truck stops.
I was dreading this morning, as I had been looking at all my scheduling information, the ubiquitous sheets printed and emailed and texted to me all over the world by my deft and ingenious helpers, and they had apologetically included a 4 am pickup time for a 6:15 am flight. Of course its nothing anyone must apologize for.
I am up early because I have to be somewhere. I want someone to want me to be somewhere and I love that someone is paid to tell me where and when. I will want this until the end of my days, I am sure, no matter how early those days may start.
But this one was an early one, and the plane sat on the tarmac for hours after it was to take off, the 6:15am takeoff merely becoming a fantasy that there is a way to control time, when time merely takes it’s time and there is nothing that can be done if its time hasn’t come.
The jobs would wait a bit, and there was a brief scramble for rental cars and some fairly complicated logistics. It seems I can do my part of getting up out of bed and being tired and furious all day but just because my part is done doesn’t mean much after all. I am only one small fragment of this experience.
No matter how much I will the plane to move beneath me, it will only go when a number of other decisions that are not mine to make are made. Weather cares nothing for my lateness, my trivial problems belittled by the sheer might of wind and clouds and rain. Mechanical problems trump my own desire for order. On time means nothing if you lack the ability to arrive.
What I could control perhaps is my unreasonable rage at the idea that I must allow for setbacks. My anger that seethes and undulates beneath my false calm face need not bubble and boil over into the lives of innocents. It is no atrocity to come later than anticipated. There is no difference in life whether it is lived here or there. Life will happen still, even without your best laid plans. I know this to my deepest point, the thick heart of me, yet for whatever reason, I can’t apply it.