Bed

By GREG MAFFETT | Published: January 5, 2012

David got out of bed because he was awake.

This separated him from the mass his fellow citizens. According to his research, 57% of the citizens in his country got out of bed when the alarm clock went off. Another 17% got out of bed after hitting the snooze button a number of times. 11% were those who ignored the snooze and their mother or some other hammered on the bedroom door to get them up. That was 85% of the population.

There was an almost even split between the people in that 85%. 43% had their clocks set fast, 42% had their clocks set to the correct time. Those who had their clocks set fast, had an offset for each clock. That is to say they had a clock in every room of their house and their vehicle and no two clocks were set to the same time, ostensibly because the level of panic induced adrenalin they required to get through their morning varied geographically.

David could not manage that degree of complication in his life. He didn't care for the idea of time zones, the more he thought about it. It made as little sense to him as multiple languages. There was the beginning of time, then there was the amount of time that has passed since then. That is what time it is. Not 10 different times on your way to work. Nor 24 time zones around the globe. There was only one time and that was the time since this all started.

David sighed. He intentionally did not look out his window.

It would be another hour until sunrise, roughly a half hour until nautical twilight, depending on whether there was anything in the atmosphere today to block the early rays.

He had looked out the window yesterday. It was mesmerizing. The stuff you see out there. People, birds, pets. Weather. It's just like TV, but without the sound.

He has double pane glass in his windows. All his windows, including the one he is intentionally not looking out of right now.

The 15% of people that do not use an alarm clock all have one thing in common. They have been through a crisis. Some label it a mid-life crisis. But how presumptive is that? To know that your crisis is a mid-life crisis requires that you know the future and know that the crisis that you went through was the knife edge that your time was balanced on. That there were exactly as many seconds before the crisis as there were after it.

David was not entirely certain his name was David. People had called him that most of his life. Occasionally people would call him by a different name. He liked some of the other names better. The problem with his name was the v. That was an inverted knife edge, too much like the mid-life crisis knife edge. D-vowel-inverted knife edge-vowel-D. You can see the problem with a name like that to meditate on.

David was an only child, hence the only son. His time of birth coincided with the sunrise on the day of his birth.

His crisis, if you will, occurred on the morning of his 21st birthday. He had used an alarm clock up til then, with a snooze. And his mother as a back up to the snooze. He lived at home, still, going college then because that was what he was expected to do. Expected in the same sense he was expected to get up in the morning at some predetermined time.

It was a crystal clear morning, that day. In addition to the alarm and the snooze and his mother, there was the sun streaming in the window as his last defense against over sleeping. If you over sleep, you are not where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. His counter argument to this was that where he was is where he was supposed to be in the universal order. The other "where he was supposed to be" was where other people thought he was supposed to be. Given the billions of possible ideas other people had about where he was supposed to be, he preferred the singularity provided by the universal order which heretofore had him in the same location as his physical body. His life was free of out of body experiences, a thought that neither filled him with joy or angst. It was just a fact, much like his brown eyes were a fact.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, ever gets on your case for under sleeping. That seemed irrational. Asymmetrical, at least, which aesthetically struck him as worse.

He looked out the window that morning and his crisis was outside. Most crisis, he understood from TV talk shows, are crisis of the soul. There are a lot of European psycho-dynamics and mother father career issues mixed with primal yearning and a sense of place, or lack thereof. His was not like this.

He looked out the window and saw what at first appeared to be two suns. The ono on the horizon and the one above it, peeking through the trees about 20 feet above the horizon.

That second one wasn't a sun. It was his tree-house. There was a fire ball visible above his tree house. Below the fireball was the body of his father. He was standing there with a fireball where his head was normally positioned. He had a cigarette in his right hand and a can of lighter fluid in his left hand. He was not waving his arms or screaming. He was calmly standing there self immolating.

Ok, there were a lot of mother father Freudian things going on after all here. His mother was banging on his bedroom door.

He didn't open the door to his Mom. He just kept looking out the window. He knew it was a crisis and he was getting the idea that he was the kind of person that didn't do well in a crisis. He thought that the key take away from this experience would be that he should never apply for a job that list "solid crisis management skills" as a requirement. He was seriously thinking about changing his major. This crisis was having implications.

Eventually his mother opened the door, came in and looked out the window too. She started having a crisis of her own.

David had no idea what to do. He grew up in that tree house. He had memories there. His friends, real and imaginary were tied to that space. And in a matter of seconds his immolating father would collapse and set the tree house on fire, destroying forever that space. He really should do something, but his feet were not moving. Partly because he was, as mentioned, not good at crisis management. And partly because his mother now blocked the only egress in the room.

This is how crisis go, he remembered thinking. You think you should be doing something, but either you are not sure what to do, or you have an idea what to do and you are unable to move. So that was his crisis. Since then, he's never needed an alarm clock. That as 21 years ago.

So today, in a few minutes actually, he will be 42.

He is intentionally not looking out the window.

Because shortly, he'll know for sure if it was a mid-life crisis or not.



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