Inspired by Zach Bornstein’s New Yorker essay: A Typical Day
2 minute read:
Midnight-5am: Vulnerable blackness punctuated by uncontrollable visions that are likely the cerebral overflow of an organ attempting to grapple with the unfathomable complexity of reality.
5am: Lift crusty eyelids. Wonder where I am. After 5-7 seconds feel identity and memory restored. Feel self-inflicted, lashing thoughts that I’m a lazy, spoiled dumbass.
5am-5:15am: Look at the phone for safety/spiritual numbing. Browse twitter. Get angry at twitter and my addiction to the phone. Contemplate the mysterious, evil existences of trolls in the world. Wish so many people didn’t think boring, stupid things were interesting. Browse Facebook. Watch a five minute video on monkeys in the wild. Remind myself I’m a sophisticated and pampered monkey. Browse Instagram. Watch a story-video of a woman who I had a one-night stand with eight years ago do a shot of vodka with friends at a bar in California.
6:15am-6:30am: Wake up in a cold sweat, put on my bathrobe, open the window, stare at the courtyard, watch the birds, listen to the birds, feel happy, think of the birds, feel Hank licking my calf, scratch his wrinkles, feed Hank, give him a joint-strengthening pill, refill his water bowl so he’s hydrated for the day. Floss, watch gums bleed and tell myself weakness is leaving the body. Brush teeth alternating right and left hands for optimal surface cleaning. Stare at my reflection and wonder if I’m more or less vane than the average human. Probably more.
6:30am-6:45am: Do some push-ups, planks, bicycle kicks, and russian twists in my room. Wonder, again, if I’m doing these exercises out of vanity or if I just feel the impulse to put my body through daily pain after years of routine and competitive running.
6:45am-6:50am: Hot shower. Stare at my muscles and remind myself I will be a sagging old man very, very soon. Run hands along muscles and feel happy that I’m healthy and strong, even if it is only flicker. Hit chest with fist and make guttural noises like a tribal mercenary.
6:50am-6:55am: Shave face. Remember being a teenager and being the last, skinny boy to have hair in his armpits and desperately wishing the hair would grow…and that I wasn’t skinny. Now I hardly keep up with the tide of facial hair growth and I like being skinny. Contemplate time and aging. Enjoy the feeling of the cool shaving cream and the delicately-cutting razor.
6:55am-7:00am: Make bed, organize note-books on my desk, put on dry-cleaned dress clothes. Realize this is still strange after years of being a compulsive slob. Remind myself I can only fight the slob within if I make-pretend with an organized room and dress clothes. Realize half of discipline is just setting up an environment that is conducive to completing mundane tasks.
7:05am-7:15am: Fail at discipline task: compulsively write in a journal. Attempt to figure out who I am and why I do the things I do. Write this essay. Realize I have a thousand other things I should be doing other than writing this essay, but it brings me unmitigated joy, so I don’t care.
7:15am-7:30am: Listen to French radio and pace my room. Wonder if I’ll be able to learn French in a month. Tell myself I am insane and that I will learn French in a month. Rien ne m’arrêtera. Je ne cederai pa. J’craquerai pas.
7:30am-7:45am: Walk Hank while still listening to French24. Watch him sniff a poodle’s ass. Pick up his dookie. Put it in a can.
7:45am-7:48am:. Hastily craft a PBJ while standing up. Realize I don’t eat sitting down anymore. Realize I don’t mind. Wonder if I’ll ever get sick of PBJs since I’ve consumed thousands of them. Don’t think I will.
7:48am-7:50am: Chug iced-black coffee I left in the fridge last night. Get a brain freeze.
7:50am-8am: Look at my list of people to call, email, contact, etc. Look at the places I have to visit in the city and the things I have to write. Feel an almost unbearable wave of euphoria that I’m doing this and not on my way to a shit job. Look over the years of working in restaurants in my mind’s eye and realize how lucky I have it and what a gift I’ve been given. Wonder if it will last. Tell myself I must, I will make it last.