I wake up every morning at 5:18. No alarm or notification. No rhyme or reason. Like my clock works, I am awake at 5:18 am. Many questions arise almost immediately, but I always drift back off to sleep to one: what about this time makes me wake up? Surely, I thought once, I must be a prisoner of time. Stuck in the endless cycle of servitude to this arbitrary time. Perhaps it’s a remnant or shade of a past life, one in which I had to wake up. Maybe it’s a reminder that it’s just a dream and that at some point reality will unleash itself through a blinding darkness. Then my eyes adjust and I see that alas, it’s just time. It could just be verification that the constant discomfort I feel in the waking hours is as arbitrary as worrying about why I woke up in the first place. Perhaps, but I believe I’ll never know for certain.


It’s 5:18.


Sipping my scalding tea I patiently wait for the blinking vertical line to stop, but the words never arrive. My mind has overeaten yet again and only seems to be regurgitating the fractured, chipped and disjointed explanations like I’m thinking in tweets despite my understanding it’s more. I stare into my cup admiring the cut and smashed peppermint as it consumes the non-existence of the water. The leaves neither float nor sink, but suspend themselves in resistance of forced expectations. These mint leaves are eroding the confinements of labeled bags that would have one believe there is no easier way. It must be; I cannot blindly accept that.


It’s 5:21.


Wrapped in the darkness, enveloped by that which I cannot control, I reach out to the open space beneath my head as I slide my arm under my pillow. I don’t know why I sleep on my arm, as it’s never helped me sleep, but I posit that perhaps I am hugging myself as I cozy up next to the wall with an oversized pillow by my side. With conviction I kick one leg out from the blanket, in an effort to find an equilibrium of temperature, followed by a twisting and turning that mostly functions like a dog walking in circles before it lays down. Unconsciously, I am searching for a groove in what feels like a tiny large space. I chuckle and then roll over facing the wall. My body is now settled between the cliff of the bed and a hard place — a position generally regarded as pitiful or not advantageous — and finally I can focus on the deafening silence.

It’s 5:24


Is it?

It’s 5:31

Perhaps, just perhaps, I should get up. There’s the unsettling feeling reminding me that one of the last things I want to be non-productive. Sleep, while giving the appearance of laziness, is in fact productive, so why can’t I just sleep? Why must 5:18 be the time that holds my life to the fire, raking the souls of the past over the coals of potentiality! It could just be me, but I don’t think so. I think, perhaps, I’m just tired of anchors. I think, it is not the winds of change by the push of the current moving me. I think…therefore I can.


It’s 8:15.


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