I set my alarm, “Alpha Dog” from Fallout Boy’s “Believers Never Die” album, to 6 in the morning on Friday, December 2. The opening riff screamed throughout my dorm room and I stumbled out of my stupor. My eyes glazed staring into the darkness and I looked back at my phone; it had already been ten minutes of me just staring there. I muttered something about 6 being an ungodly hour. If ever I am awake before 11, I will mutter something about an ungodly hour. But, this hour, in particular, seemed to reside in a special circle of Inferno for me. I assembled the clothes I had prepared the night before, brushed my teeth, stumbled around my “to-do list” in the dark room, and then made my way out of dormitory onto the ensconced part of Greenwich Village, 13th Street.
I had forty minutes to walk forty blocks. I immediately turned right onto 14th and proceeded down the thoroughfare, entering in and out of consciousness of the scant world around me. I had been embraced perhaps once or twice before with the dawn personality of the city, the migrations of morning workers from the outskirts of the world and the ramblings of daily hidden people. One of those times I was out this early was because I was locked out of my apartment in Washington Heights and so journeyed all the way to SoHo to crash with my friend. I took the A train that day.
Ten blocks into my current journey, I found myself at the same subway line. I was going to catch a Megabus at that strange industrial bus depot, a plot of cement next to the convention center amidst a kingdom of construction, between 11th and 12th Avenue on 34th St. When I departed the 34th St. station, I saw that I had more than enough time to catch a warm beverage of sorts. I meandered into a nearby Starbucks and helped myself to a skim mocha. This could perhaps constitute the highlight of my morning, sipping comfortably on the smooth ambrosia of this drink crafted a hundred times over in the matter of a day by this single shop of thousands of similar shops. To me, though, it was a divine banality and I didn’t let go until I approached the stop.
On the bus, I conversed shortly and deliriously with the person next to me, emitting sentences of a half-conscious grasp on what it was I was even talking about. Any question that the faulty faculties of my mind could assemble, it retched out. Halfway into my broken explanation of Argentinean politics I had rehearsed more eloquently in other conversations, I realized I had lost the other person’s attention, and so I retreated to the window. I watched the world pass by and I wondered how strange it was that I had never set foot on this piece of the world before, that no matter how homogenous it may have seemed with the plot of land before it, it was still individual. I had seen it before, in other places, and yet here it was altogether new, unless perhaps the cartographers of the world conspired to fool us into thinking we were discovering new places when in reality it was all the same. I put that thought away for now. I didn’t trust my brain before 11 AM.
The bus passed a small body of water with a dirt atoll within it. I began imagining a scene from a book I was supposed to be writing occurring on that particular piece of water and dirt. Not to say the imagined scene would be the final admission into this work, but to have story play in my head, as the trees played like a screensaver to the world, was calming and lulled my anxieties of an unnamed demon.
These scenes blended. My classmates in front of me started having a conversation, a very lively one. Too lively for what time of day it was. I felt as though I heard their conversations before in other eavesdropping, but this one was entirely individual. Scenes of a half-conscious morning, blending and exploding my senses, made me think on my journey, whether I should be actively searching for something, but really I just wanted to wake up, to come alive like the conversation in front of me. I stayed up until 2 the night before because I was working on my projects. It had been like this for a few weeks now. I returned to the window; I couldn’t quite sleep, but I certainly couldn’t use my attention. .
My eyes glazed staring into the refracted light and I looked at my phone; it had already been three hours.