Dawn Battles

I despise morning shifts.This does not mean that I hate mornings, too, but the work schedule that is set to begin even before the Sun has completely extracted himself from the horizon’s embrace is truly, truly disconcerting for someone like me who keeps late hours musing over the day that was.Usually I sleep around midnight or 2 o’clock. Sometimes, if my imagination refuses to be reined in, I could still be awake until the next sun up, sketching or making plotlines for some half-cooked story my mind conjures in the wee hours before dawn.There was this time when I had gotten my first-ever sketch pad. It was made from linen paper, one meter wide by half a meter high, the smell of compressed air was fused into the pages as it came from my grandmother from some far off country. I did some portraiture of women looking out into the void, waiting by windows and balconies. I did it in my room while outside, I could hear my mother typing away her sermon for the next Sunday. I must have begun sketching around ten o’clock; the hour when our household expected us children to be already asleep. I was still in grade school then and my class was at seven the next morning. I lost track of time, narcissistically engrossed on what my hand has created on page after page of paper.

And so by the time I eased by nose off its two-inch distance from my new sketch pad, the roosters were already crowing and there was light in the murky grey horizon of the city where we used to live. The clacks of my mother’s typewriter have long ceased. I looked at my handiwork and decided that I could never do portraiture. Having decided so, I grabbed a towel and prepared for school. Sleep didn’t visit me for a few more days until I’ve filled all pages of the sketchpad. Though light-headed, I felt grounded and more in touch with who I am.

So, the reason why I do not like the morning shift, which in my workplace starts at six a.m., is that I am forced to sleep very early — preventing me from getting in touch with my more mischievous and renegade self. And when I wake up, it’s a race against time to arrive in the office before several pesos could be docked from my pay.

Also, mornings usually meant snuggling deeper in the covers, Tata’s arms wrapped around me, giving warmth against the chill of the air. But lately, it’s just nudging him awake after I’ve gathered my stuff for the office so he could see me off and hurrying out the door with uncombed hair and a narrow-sighted determination not to be late again.

Then, arriving in the office, I bide the time till the change-of-shift hour in catatonia, almost totally unproductive. It’s getting pretty embarrassing for me to bid goodbye to my co-workers after seeing the output they had for the day compared to what I produce which could be counted on by a child fumbling with numbers 1 to 3. In the mornings when I have actually slept early the previous night, I maneuver through the day like an ill-tempered owl, completely dazed by the sunlight.

There are, of course, also many cons with the nightshift. But so far, weighing what I lose in the mornings to be at work for the 6 a.m. grind, I still prefer to affirm the insomniac that I am. As far as I know, this morning business just does not work for me.

I’ve developed a liking for tea a few days ago. This came as with the conscious decision to find a “healthier” lifestyle for myself.I’m starting off with lessening the toxins I ingest. Mayhap, I shall be doing physical exercises. But I have to think about this harder. As of writing, the tinny tiny voice in my head belonging to the Über Lazy Goddess Me just roared, she “Won’t!” exercise.


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