My most and least favorite time of the day is the morning. I almost always wake up at 7:30 a.m. to the sound of my cell phone alarm. I don't even know how to set the alarm on my clock. Sometimes I wake up a little beforehand to the sound of my radiator clunking as it warms up. There is usually soft light coming in through the window, and I roll out of my bed into a towel and into the shower. But before I get that far, for some reason I always stop and scrutinize my face in the mirror. It sort of fascinates me to see the slightly puffy eyes, dark with lingering sleepiness, and my hair all flat and perfectly chunky from being slept on. I can never get it to look as good as it looks fresh from the pillow. Anyway, enough about me.
I like the quietness of the morning, even though I almost always turn on the radio and listen to a bit of NPR as I eat my breakfast. I figure out what to wear to work, grab all my things at the last possible moment, and head out the door. Winter mornings are so gorgeous here, along the river's side. I catch glimpses of the water, ice blue down below a powdery sky with pale pink clouds. The sun catches the branches of the bare trees and turns them a golden white, and across the water the houses of New Jersey turn all sorts of pastel colors, like on a Greek island. I always take a deep refreshing breath of cold winter air and let the wind push me along down the street.
There is always a street-sweeper at the first corner who gives me a whistle and a good morning, for which I toss him a smile and a nod. Then its up the hill to the subway, past the pigeons eating a bread crumb breakfast tossed out a window somewhere up above. The AM-NY guy hands me a free paper, and then I pop down into the tunnel that takes me under the city, until I emerge somewhere downtown and high-tail it to work.
And why is it my least favorite time of day? Because I have to say goodbye to the pastel blues, the golden sunbeams, the pink frothy clouds, the awakening bustle, and spend the lovely day inside, when I would so much rather be breakfasting on a balcony, rowing across the river, taking a leisurely run, or trying to spell the earth's beauty in a painting. Every day is the same old tragedy, except Saturdays of course, but those are more than likely rainy.