Five in the Morning
The O Pine

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© 2001 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

Morning people should drag themselves into the street and shoot themselves.
Five a.m.

I hate mornings. I'm not a morning person at all. And 5:00 in the morning isn't even really morning; it's hypermorning, a theoretical prequantum variety of morning only observed under laboratory conditions.

Five a.m. is not so much a time as it is a concept. At 5:00 everything is in a thick haze, everything moves slowly (especially the clock) and even the dogs look at you like you're insane for being up this time of morning.

At three a.m., or even four a.m., you're up in a flash. You have purpose. Nobody gets up at 3:00 unles there is Something To Do, and it is Important. Up, alert, and ready for whatever it is that you have to be up for. Well, maybe some coffee would be nice.

And six or seven a.m. are perfectly natural times to awaken, well within the biorhythm of the typical homo sapiens, a creature that has proven remarkably tolerant of the sun's incessant morning rescheduling. You'd think after all these millenia that the sun could pick one damn time to rise every day. But other than the sun, six or seven is okay, overall.

Five? You've already missed the red-eye to Las Vegas that your boss gave you as a bonus for working 60 hours a week for four months, the chicken coop has already burned to the ground, and the dog that refused to poop the night before has already exploded in the living room. No real point in being up now if you blew it at three, you oaf.

But... rrrrrnnnnnnggggggghhhh... the incessant alarm keeps blaring, just out of arm's reach, demanding that all present stand and be counted, to greet the day and rise to the challenge. Or just rise. GET OUT OF BED YOU'RE GOING TO BE LATE YOU HOON!!

Five a.m. is nothing but a good night's rest ruined.

Of course, the most obnoxious part about five a.m. isn't the time of day at all, it's that ignorant bastard the night before.

You know the one. He's up watching the Whose Line Is It Anyway? marathon (the British version, thankyouverymuch) and drinking caffeinated beverages and eating sugary snacks because he's enjoying his evening and doesn't want it to end. Then he slips into your bedroom WAY too late and puts on your pajamas and moves the alarm clock out of reach and lies down on your bed and keeps tossing and turning all night so you can't sleep and when morning comes he's GONE so there's no one to punch in the face except the alarm clock, which is still frustratingly out of reach.

So you get cleaned up while slowly waking up and think about the great time you'll have with your buddies later tonight, watching the Monty Python marathon and eating junk food for dinner. It'll be lots of fun! With any luck it'll never end.

Yeah. That's the bastard.

Common decency insists that anyone who has the misfortune of bumbling around at 5:00 try to avoid other people -- other lifeforms -- as much as possible. Smalltalk is impossibly rude at such an hour. Sounds such as mrrrfff and rrrnnnnggg are acceptable. Indeed, anyone who can refrain from simply farting his intentions is to be commended.

Your dogs will look at you with reproach for pushing the best-friendship just a little too far. Cats will fail to acknowledge your existence. Parrots will use language you can only hope they didn't learn from your family.

But there's always a good side to everything, and with 5:00 in the morning the good side is that every problem has a simple answer, an answer that calls to us from childhood, the only answer that truly solves all problems. Car won't start? Go back to bed. Snow on the ground? Back to bed. Work clothes not clean? Back to bed. Heater broke overnight? Don't even leave the bed. And invite the dogs up.

Whatever it is, it'll be gone, or less bad, or just plain easier to think about, at seven a.m.

Or nine.

Yeah, nine is good. Mmmmmm.