My colleague reminded me as he was departing from our Thanksgiving feast, that we had a meeting at Tsinghua University at 9:30AM tomorrow. I tried to weather this blow the way MacArthur might, unfazed, focused on clarifications. But inside I knew that this meant the morning would be angular and demanding.
Up against my will at 3:45AM. I’m up. My wife is beside me and it wouldn’t be appropriate to turn on the light read my book. That’s what I want to do. Invest in something gentle that will invoke Hypnos to lead me back off to nod. I’m up to the “Six Days War” in my history of Jerusalem. The story is seductive, the pacing is familiar as we drive into the end of this six hundred page journey. I’m up. I don’t want to lie and vex.
I consider my phone. There are messages. People are explaining why they hadn’t made the party. People wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving. “Thanks for last night!” And emails from people who could care less that America is having any such holiday. Downstairs I read through the emails, obligatorily. Fortunately nothing needs immediate action. I reconsider the evening’s progression imbibing this and imbibing that, and I notice the bottle of Aleve sitting on my desk . I pour a glass from a bottle for sparkling water. Soon, it’s all gone.
The front page of the New York Times has grinding, Trump news for me to consider. The Huffington Post is flaming Donald for the haphazard way he is chasing his cabinet. One gets the sense that this will be a rather familiar theme and that it wont matter and we’ll all just be numb to this mediocrity by the time of the inauguration. Reading from a screen is unpleasant though. I read my book for a while sitting at my desk. But I want to lie down and hug a pillow when I read.
Upstairs I crawl back in bed and reckon I’ll read with the light of my phone. Crawling in, it is clear that someone has taken my place. I consider sharing the bed with my wife and my daughter but then it dawns on me that my younger daughter’s room is now free. I could flip on the light and read as read for as long as I liked. And that’s just what I did, until a more reasonable hour materialized.