Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Little Bits of Life

Before falling into bed for the night, I pry loose the following from my daughter's hands as she sleeps:

one baby comb
one mini Tonka truck
one plastic pony
one metal race car

In the middle of the night, my 3 year-old cries in his sleep. His father and I wake up and call out to him to crawl into bed with us. Eventually we all drift off again.

4:30 AM the alarm clock start to sound. I hit the snooze button once, then again and again. At 5:00 I get up, get dressed, pet the cat, brush my teeth, brush my hair, grab my coat and backpack and hat, slip on my shoes and head into the fog. My bus arrives at around 5:30 and by 6:00 I am sitting at my desk at work. It is still dark outside and the office is silent. By 6:30, a colleague or two start to arrive and the day slowly builds as voices echo throughout the floor.

Yesterday, after I arrived at work, the fire alarm went off. They were doing some alarm testing (which no one warned us about) so another woman and I stood in the cold in front of our building waiting for it to finish. Across the street we saw three vans with long satellite antennas sending off the top news story: a man across the street was holding someone hostage in his apartment building. It had already been going on for 5 hours. She and I watched as police cars emerged and disappeared up and down the streets. How ironic that we were forced outside by a fire drill to stand outside on the sidewalk , in the cold, across from a crime scene. At around 6:30 the alarm stopped and we went back in. I sat back at my desk and continued working. I never took the time to find out what happened to the hostage or the hostage-taker.

While we stood outside, one man came out and in a burly voice and a sarcastic smile said, "So, did they kill the guy already?" It seemed funny at the time. Later that day, the thought of it nauseated me.


Juliet said...

If it has been as cold there as it has here, I feel bad for you having to stand outside like that. It's a scary thing about the guy being held hostage across the street. But at least you had something to distract you. Is it wrong of me to say that?

Alice in Austria said...

gosh that must feel surreal. I hope it all ended well.
But, are you serious, you get up at 5am every day?!?!? How can you get through the day on so little sleep (knowing you stay up really really late to work on the magazine, on some nights, you must not get any sleep at all)?

Lilian said...

Oh my, I can't imagine getting up at 5 am. I'd be sick, since my body just can't handle early waking -- it causes IBS symptoms and give me nausea afterwards. (and this only happens in early morning, no other time of day).

what a tough experience having to be outside while there was a crime scene right there!

Corey said...

Juliet: Yes, it was very cold but not as bad as the icy days a few weeks ago. The best part was to not be out there all by myself. Gosh, that would have been weird.

Alice: HAH, yes, I have been known to stay up all night simply by losing track of time. I mean, when it gets to 5:00 AM and I've been up all night, why even go to bed, right? But I try not to do that anymore. The early days of Multilingual Living Magazine were like that. I'd be working away on the magazine and before I knew it, R was walking into the room after a good night's sleep. I don't get up at that time every morning. Only the days that I work (Monday-Wednesday). The other days I savor staying up late and getting up late.

Lilian: I actually used to be a morning person when I was young. Then in college I learned the"all-nighters" when I'd stay up all night studying for exams. ;-) When C was born, I negotiated working three days a week. They insisted that I get a cell phone and that I be available on Thursday and Friday if necessary (which has hardly ever happened). That was three years ago. Some days I feel exhausted when I get up but by the time I get to work, I am usually doing pretty well. I guess it is simply the way things have worked out. I just can't imagine working 5 days a week ever again. :-)