I harshly and suddenly awoke from a dream at 5 AM by a thunderclap signaling the oncoming apocalypse. This wasn’t simply God bowling his strikes, rather the Almighty had decided to demolish the entire bowling alley complete with pins, balls, and those vending machines with their unwinnable trinkets that truly have no place in Paradise,  still inside. This happened directly above my house.

By the time my breathing got under control and the coolness of my skin warmed to the beaded perspiration, the awareness that the end of the world was not upon us just yet slowly rolled to the surface of my consciousness like a wobbly gutter ball moving with lackadaisical determination towards its final destination and ultimate drop. It was 5 AM. Plus eight minutes. Normally, I would be pounding the clock/radio silent in another 90 minutes. The daily alarm would ignore my shadowy gropes, beckoning me instead, and insistently, to arise. The alarm knew, of course, as did my previous and more cognizant self from last night, that I had to prepare for an 8 AM conference call to Toronto. Seeing as how I was presently awake, and the rain showering on my roof was certainly not about to contribute to a pleasant return to sleep, I moved forward.

My legs were off the mattress and I smiled inwardly with the smallest sense of satisfaction that I had beaten the radio alarm, at least for this morning. Its commands will go unheeded today; the impotence of its digital display no longer necessary.

The remainder of those early minutes passed without much significance as routine automatically hit its stride. The weary treading of footfalls reaching each milestone. Shower. Shave. Coffee. Somewhere along the way the rain stopped, the sun tried its best to break through the cloud cover. The rays that do penetrate accentuate the greenness that abounds in the aftermath of a spring storm. The azure leaves on the hickory tree stand out vividly against the slowly-breaking gray sky.

Yet, I have no time for beauty. I cannot allow my mind to drift before the caffeine releases the racehorses of my synapses from their starting gate. The wetness in the atmosphere hangs equally heavy with the thoughts of the day before me. Toronto this morning, California at lunch where the day’s sun will still be new, New York this afternoon. My company’s phone bill lights up like a North American passport. Most use the stillness of the morning to begin their day with calm reflection. I use this break to debate calling in sick, ignoring all the responsibilities that have become accustomed to in this adult life.

The sky is quiet now. God’s obviously taking a coffee break reading the Washington Post with a Boston crème because He obviously doesn’t need to watch the calories. And with the end-of-the-world obviously on hold, I boot up my iMac and get to work because, after all, there’s much to do.

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