Morning is altogether at stake in Los Angeles. Mornings go so quickly, if we’re lucky enough to have one, I wonder if they’ve been outlawed, or worse, become yesterday’s fashion. God forbid we wear morning on the red carpet—we’d be torn to shreds in Huffington Post or by a zygote on Instagram. No, the sun is a show-off younger brother who follows your every move demanding attention. He does not want to take its time and let you write.
He hurries to the top of the sky, where he can do the most brilliant searing, tap dance, buffalo step, “ta-daaaa!” Stays on stage panting, vamps, stares down curious and assertive, master of the spot. Talks to the audience, “Whatcha doing over there? I see you behind that pole, acting like you don’t like me. Is that your wife?” The sun is the proverbial ultimate showman. And there are plenty of them in LA to compete with. The sun will not be outdone.
Yet, this is at the peril of mornings. The quiet, measured time after dawn, when you can see your way to get a glass of water without shocking the light on, is being made redundant, and no severance package. The furze of grey light turning burnished gold at the blinds’ edges has been forced to go freelance, and drum up its own followers on Twitter. It only has 140 characters.
Oh, I used to love mornings for rituals, drawing my soft mind out for hours! In Atlanta, mornings lasted forever until afternoon snuck up on you, tapped you on one shoulder, then appeared at the other one–boo! At least you got used to that old saw. You’d had your morning, so you were not terribly annoyed.
In Los Angeles, there is no sneaking. By the time you see a peek of sun, in for a penny, it grabs up the sky within a greedy minute, in for a pound. It nags you from then, hogs the trough. You must, in response to the fullness of day, get to work, or there won’t be tits for all the piggies.
I used to slowly stoke the morning fire, nurture a glass, scribble, mind-wander. But now electric lights have been put on timer; there’s no stopping progress here. The pressure to have boundless productivity is intense at 89 degrees, no excuse now. You’re plugged in, man! We are galloping horsepower. So what of the writing?
Writing used to screel itself in slow, dim-up hours every day, and in rain, all day tucked into a cafe chair or wingback. What becomes of it? It is the blog between bites in the sun-burgled ether in midcentury horizontals, planing endlessly to each horizon. A stolen spot under my spine perched on a vintage orange crate, turned upend, until the douchebag of the afternoon–doesn’t tap you, but kicks the crate out from under your feckless hide, you lazy dog. You have been expecting this, and still you examine afternoon. He is in a charcoal gray suit, skinny tie, elongated dress shoes and of course, the perfect shades. He’s on his cell phone. He has already reserved bottle service for tonight. The world is passing you by.
So you slog down the last mealy sip of your old ways, fill your jog bottle – “hydration is key!”- and plan your next strike. Tomorrow you will stalk morning again. Maybe earlier, maybe somewhere off the brittle, sundried sidewalk, somewhere with a little ground cover, or a tile fountain…morning has to be somewhere…. You wish yourself luck and plunge into your WordPress headlong.