Very much the ‘morning person’ today, I come to the keyboard still bathed in sleep, my muscles and nerves not yet awoken by the effects of a shower, of coffee. And I come to the keyboard unaware of what might be found there, on these tiny tom-toms, bashed by my fingertips, each with its own sign, a sign recognisable, in isolation, and in combinations with others.
The morning has its own magic, the aeroplane flying over sounds like the first of the day, the bus passing by the window also sounds like the very first. The grey damp sky reaches all the way down to the pavements and roads, which absorb the climate and reflect the sky’s dim colour.
Then there is silence, or almost silence, the absence of sounds left by an absence of people, of life. The morning is lifeless, relatively lifeless. Even the blackbird, sat in the apple tree outside my bedroom window, sat still and quiet for all the time that I watched her this morning.
Behind those curtained windows that I can see across the city, many are still sleeping, dreaming, dozing, cuddling, loving, or, like me, rising because, in middle-age, they no-longer wake full of a recharged bright new energy, but rather come to need showers and coffees to make them, to make us, feel ‘normal’, to feel ‘truly’ alive. We come to rely on prostheses in the absence of our very youth.
I can only read the words I have just written through my spectacles, another prosthesis that, until a few years ago, I neither owned nor needed. The magic of the morning is one thing for a child, another for an adolescent, and yet another for me in middle age. Slightly misted over with a melancholic veil, I nevertheless love the morning’s soft imperfections, like thin cardboard carelessly torn, the morning is rough-edged and hard to put to use.
Birds begin a rhythmic peeping and piping. More cars make their way past my window, each with its dry, Dopplering engine drone, while another jet growls its way above the clouded sky, sounding as if it too is still wearing pyjamas. Is the world waking up? Slowly, slowly. Is the weather improving? No, in fact now the birds are silent again. Another bus passes, the distant tower block has lost its top in the mist, and the builder’s cranes nearby surge up only to melt away into the soft grey that has descended on us all.