This morning’s post is brought to you by the cup of Tim Horton’s coffee sitting on my desk.
This morning, for the first time in a long, long time, I woke up at 7am. The plan is to get myself used to waking up this early so that when my semester starts and I have calculus on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30am, it won’t be such a shock. Also, I think I’m going to wake up every morning at 7am rather than only on the days I have to. This is what I envisioned the pathway to adulthood being like: waking up early every morning whether you have to or not.
What I didn’t expect when I set my alarm for 6:45am, is how refreshed I would feel. We had a tropical storm last night and it was cloudy all day, but this morning the kitchen was full of light; the early morning sun was peering over the building opposite my house and shining straight in the window. And I actually felt awake. I didn’t feel terribly groggy – of course I had made up my mind not to give in to feelings of grog, even though I might have succumbed to them if they had been strong enough – I just felt awake.
But the thing that surprised me the most is that I had forgotten what 8:30am felt like. And what it smelled like, and looked like. I waited in line at Tim’s this morning with the hoards of people getting their breakfast for the morning. One family was getting breakfast together: the parents dressed for work, and the kids dressed for whatever they had planned for today. Distracted by the size of the crowd, I got in the tourist trap line: the long line right inside the door that hides the other, shorter lines, and seems to split in two, but really it just leads you to the one cashier who drew the short straw that morning. I ordered my large iced coffee, no cream, no sugar (or syrup, as the cashier corrected me,) and watched the Tim’s employees scamper around behind the counter with echoes of “no sugar, no cream;” every one of them in equal disbelief that someone would want the cardboard-tasting coffee served at Tim’s with nothing in it*. Every so often, a person with a Tim’s visor and a bucket of sausages or miniature, circular omelets would pass from one side of the counter to the other, holding his wares high in the air to prevent other employees from knocking them out of his hands, dodging people as he tried to get the horribly greasy food to it’s proper destination.
When I got back to the McConnell building (I refuse to call it the “Engineering” building. The ground floor might be engineering, but the main attraction is Computer Science,) I saw a few suits going to a meeting with their suitcases, looking self important, and the smell of breakfast wafted through the hallway. Evidently there was some kind of meeting or presentation that had been scheduled so early in the morning that it warranted the serving of coffee and assorted breakfast items. I followed a man wielding a small, wheely suitcase down the hallway as he walked resolutely to his breakfasted meeting, until our paths diverged and I went up the stairs to the lab**.
And here I sit. I can’t really say what it is, exactly, but something about being up this early makes me feel younger. The year I spent growing up at University was mostly spent in the afternoon and evening, and the two years I spent being young at CEGEP were riddled with early mornings. I remember seeing the kitchen full of light, just like this morning, before heading off to karate class on Fridays*** that first semester. Honestly, there’s something I miss about being awake this early. The feeling will probably fade, and this brief and unexpected return to a more naively happy state will give way to disillusionment as I get used to being awake just after the crack of dawn, but it’s refreshing to remember a time when the world was a less complicated place.
*Every time I ask for an iced coffee without cream or syrup at Tim’s, the cashier looks at me confoundedly, and repeats my order to me in a questioning tone: “You mean… black?”
**I’d like to take this opportunity to revel in the fact that I can say things like, “I went up the stairs to the lab,” or “I’m in the lab,” and be completely correct and justified in saying them.
***Yeah, that’s right: I took karate as my physical education class. What. The next class on Friday was Art and Activism: two of my fondest memories from my first semester at Marianopolis.