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Wednesday October 12, 2005, 09:07

Autumn has come, suddenly, and has brought with it cold, driving rain that makes it all too unpleasant to even be awake, let alone step outside. I am happiest on these days when I can wake up to the pitter patter of raindrops on my window sill, the ping of the wind blowing sheets of water past my apartment. The sky is grey and the clouds are breezing by at a healthy clip, as if to say "we're getting the hell out of here, why aren't you?"

Mornings like these quiet an otherwise hectic city. The lights in the living room remain dim, and the morning news program is turned off. Slip covers from a friend's sofa cover every surface in the house and I feel like I am living in a tomb. I can't hear the street traffic below and the neighbor's dog probably feels like staying in just as much as the rest of us. I imagine him curled up in a big cushion, opting for the relative comfort of a rainy morning over the release of heading to the nearest tree.

I'm cold. The building's heat has not yet been turned on, and I have the taste of an evening draft stuck in the back of my throat. The living room feels immense today, and I turn on my desk lamp and turn off the other lights in order to bring myself closer, bring myself in, to turn my back on the rest of the world.

Mornings like this are for hiding.

Every year, I seem to forget what the seasons bring. Winter makes me forget all about summer, and in the heat of summer, I can hardly imagine that I will ever be picking out sweaters and jackets over t-shirts and shorts.

This probably indicates a much larger problem for me, one of concentration and perspective, that I had started to identify months ago on an airplane, trying alternately to do work and to write (activities that have never been the same one in my life, except for that once, and that turned out to be a disaster). I think about that piece daily, the piece that remains un-finished not because I had nothing to say, but because I had nothing to hold my thoughts together. My mind would be racing and I was forced to spend all of my energy trying to hold all of my thoughts together. By the time I was finished, I realized that I had nothing left in me to actually communicate everything I was trying to contain. So I stopped, and deposited the piece along with the rest of the half-finished thoughts that litter my life.

The air is almost white with rain and looking out the window is like looking into a large, static-filled, television, left on after the station has long gone off the air. Will any station ever dare to go off the air again? With the backlash against modern life, a desire for a simpler past and the continued popularity of manual typewriters and rotary telephones (at least in select circles), will a station ever be tempted to go dark again, to say to its viewers "Thanks for watching, but we're tired. Why don't you read a book and go to bed? Tomorrow is another day."

Mornings like these feel like a little cheat of time. In these hours after sleep has ended, before the day starts, when I am tired enough to want to go to bed, but awake enough that I don't want to fritter my day away, I feel like I have gotten up early enough to beat the arrival of tomorrow. If I could extend this time indefinitely, before the chaos and the expectations of the world came alive, I could live forever in eager anticipation for a new day to begin.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think one just did.

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