It is a very beautiful time of day.
5:45 in the morning, and my mind is on fire. Not a searing, painful fire, but a pleasant low sizzle. Flickering and churning with activity. I cannot sleep, and I do not mind.
The sun is far from risen, but still pervades my room with just enough slight, gray light that I can make out the shapes of my things in blurry detail. The newly awakened birds have lost their morning excitement and calmed to near-silence, and the only things I hear are the ambient whir of the little creme-colored computer tower beside me and the tack-tack of my fingers on the keyboard.
The white background light of my computer screen seems even more unnatural now, with everything else blanketed in the muddy morning light. The backs of my hands seem ominous and black, facing away from the sharp and functional artificial glow.
The tiny green and red lights of my modern conveniences that serve to be ignored in clearer daylight hours now surround me, like curious eyes in a plastic forest. And I realize that I do not need them, and at the same time I do. Because even though I may leave them and swim in a lake or walk through the tall grass-- they still surround my little ergonomically-shaped chair, waiting for me to return. And I expect them to be there, like old friends.
They just stare.
My wrist aches slightly, from being rested awkwardly on dense plastic, molded to look like wood, shaped into a desk. The veins on my hairless, pale underarm throb uncomfortably from being squeezed and narrowed under the weight of my forearm. I stretch my hand in a wide circle and it feels good-- liberating.
And I understand that I was not built to sit here, on a cushion elevated several feet off the ground, pushing around a little silver oval for hours. I realize that the little buttons I push to make words that no-one cares to read have the paint fading off their surfaces. I realize that this is not from harsh treatment, but from hours of oils, tapped and pressed into them, one by one, by fingers meant to feel more than a little elevated bump over the F and the J.
My fingers have touched the smooth neck of a beautiful girl and explored the softness of her lips. They have been burned and poked and immersed in steel buckets of ice. They have been held out of car windows, bobbing up and down in the raw wind, and they have struck cold stone to release aimless anger. And once, when the boss wasn't around to see, they were even dipped into a cool, slick bucket of blood-red mechanical grease.
I expand my mind at the expense of my body. I sit for hours, solidifying my grasp on language and reading textbooks and perusing the musings of geniuses and fools alike. But it all feels ephemeral. Hollow. I can't feel it.
I don't want my fingers to be dead to reality. I don't want them to lay, lackadaisally on squares of marked plastic for all my life. I want to feel grit and heat and the prickle of snow soaking through my old winter gloves.
Plastic is a grim neutrality.
I need more than this antiseptic room-temperature box of cables and fans and wires and silicon.
It's 6:30 now. The sun is up further, and the fire in my head is down to the coals. I'm going to go crawl between my sheets and close my eyes to the newly focusing detail of my room. In 5 hours, a precise, throbbing electronic screech will tear me away from my subconscious, and into a groggy, pallid morning routine. And all I will have to remember of this beautiful, perfect morning is what I have just written.