Early Awakening

It’s a shade after 3:10 a.m. I’ve just now finished my shower and made my first cup of coffee. I thought, when I got out of bed, it was nearing 5:00 a.m. I was wrong. I jumped in the shower almost as soon as I awoke under the impression dawn would break in the near term. It was only after I become conscious of my surroundings that I realized I had jumped the gun. Crap!

The thing that really set the realization in motion was a glance at my pills. I keep my pills in a monstrous container that further containerizes my pills into day-part compartments. The first one is labeled “MORN,” followed by “NOON,” EVE”, and “BED.” Naturally, I can’t rely on those labels because they do not correspond to the timing of my pill consumption. Instead, I pretend the labels read “FIRST THING,” ‘MID-MORN,” “NOONISH,” “AFTERNOON,” and “BEDTIMISH.” I further refine the meaning of NOONISH to mean EARLY NOONISH and LATER NOONISH. I have to do that because my latest prescription calls for a five-time-per-day schedule. Crap.

And one of my prescriptions, it seems, has an impact on my sleep schedule. I can’t quite comprehend my early rising today. I thought I’d looked at the clock when I got up. But apparently the view was blurry. Based on how long I normally spend in the shower and other factors, I have to assume I stepped into the shower about 2:30 a.m.; I went to bed at a normal hour (more or less), so I must have popped awake at a completely unnatural time. For me.

I have yet to take my pills. The schedule today is pretty important, I think. I have to take the pills designed to knock down my Herpex Zoster, AKA, Shingles, soon. I must do that; no playing around. My left eye and the skin on my face surrounding it will, I hope, appreciate my insistence on sticking to the schedule. Assuming, of course, the medications work. I hope they do. The pain I feel, though not awful, is beginning to bother me. Shingles needs to be gone, and soon.

We went out last night (call it late afternoon) with some people from church. One couple picked us up at the house. Another couple and a woman whose husband was traveling to meet relatives he had not heretofore known, met on at our destination. We explored the “happy hour” marketed by 501 Prime, a high-end steakhouse and all around fancy restaurant in Hot Springs. My wife and I both ordered a starter of six fried oysters; they were good. I, then, ordered the special charcuterie board, for which I had to wait quite a while because we arrived around 5:00 p.m. and said “special” dish was not available until 6:00 p.m. In the meantime, I ordered a local beer that was acceptable but not special. When my food finally arrived (my wife’s chicken fried steak came earlier), I was surprised as the “charcuterie board.” It consisted of fried duck skin, a fried duck leg, two slices of fried green tomatoes, a few thin pieces of what obviously were “house made” crostini, and a few olives. None of the sausages I expected. The food on the board wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t particularly good. And the charcuterie board was accompanied by a tasting of five bourbons. The five glasses of bourbon had, obviously, been exposed to some whiskey; but the whiskey had all but evaporated by the time it got to me. That is only a slight exaggeration. There was enough of each whiskey to barely taste it. Afterward, I was invited to pick one of the whiskeys, which then would be used to make a cocktail of my choice. I chose a Jim Beam whiskey as my mixer and a 501 Prime Manhattan as the drink of choice. Later, I realized I would have much rather have had a shot of the Jim Beam all by itself. Though I was happy to have gone out with the group of five other adults, I wish the food and drink had been more appealing. And I wish we’d all be just a little “looser” than we were. At least I wish I had been. I would have like to have conversed a bit more with some of the other folks at the table, but my introversion kept that inclination in check. And if my introversion was in full throat, my wife’s was even more obvious. Another drink or two might have fixed that. Maybe.

When we got back to our house, I was tempted to invite our hosts in for a glass of wine, but I did not. I sensed my wife would not have appreciated it. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. I never mentioned it to her, but the fact that she decided to go to bed very early told me my inclination to just leave it was the right one. And then I woke up after a short night’s sleep. And here I am. I watched the debates (well, most of them) last night. I learned very little, other than the debaters seemed more interested in attacking their Democratic opponents than in arguing their positions. I’m still undecided about political positions; on the one hand, I think a moderate who would not be anathema to Republicans would have the best chance at overcoming the irrational 45 base, but on the other I feel pretty strongly that a radical departure from business as usual is what the country needs. I’m talking enormously bold changes from the status quo, like Medicare for All (or some variation thereof) and social engineering capable of changing the face of American society. I’m leaning toward the latter, I think.

The clock now tells me it’s only a few minutes shy of 4:00 a.m. I’m a bit slow in documenting my thoughts. But I shall stop for the moment anyway. My first cup of coffee has largely disappeared and my mental condition has solidified a tad. I’m no longer in immediate danger of swallowing a large number of pills in the hope that they might solve my dilemma of choosing life over death or vice versa. It’s not quite that hopeless. But neither is it something I can readily ignore. These thoughts do not belong in my head, regardless of the time of day. They are dangerous but appealing. The idea of no longer caring that Trump is alive and in charge of wrecking our democracy appeals to me. I’d like, though, to solve the problem before I take the final nap. Snap out of it! Christ! I still have pills to take to resolve my problem with shingles. There’s plenty of time for morose moods after shingles has been overwhelmed with medicines. And with that, I’m going to go in search of ingredients for an unusual breakfast.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Early Awakening

  1. Thanks for the good wishes. The sheer number of pills, coupled with the strange schedule on which they are to be delivered/swallowed, is confusing. But I’ll manage. 😉

  2. Hopester says:

    Early, early mornings (middle of the night?) awakenings are not fun. I do hope your shingles resolves itself soon. I’ve heard it’s very painful. I don’t know how you remember to keep that medication schedule. I’d have to put reminders on my phone. It’s bad enough to remember to take my morning medication.

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